Stories From

Alumni of this time saw everything from the launch of Apollo 13 to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I-House was there for it all. 

Zahwa K. Amad (IH 1982-86 )

I showed a non-political presentation about Jerusalem's holy sites with the three monolithic religious sites of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Some students were outraged and I received threats. I was relieved that I had the support of the I-House Director then Mr. Sheridan Warrick.


Betsey and Sherry in the Heller Patio in 1980

Sheridan “Sherry” Warrick, I-House Executive Director (1961-87) and Betsey Warrick

Every evening after coming home from I-House, Betsey would cook dinner for Sherry. While she moved about the kitchen preparing the meal, Sherry sat in his favorite kitchen chair and told her about his day. Whether there was good news to share, or an impossible task to tackle, Betsey listened, allowing him to share the burden of his responsibilities. He led I-House during pivotal moments in American history, as his tenure included the Free Speech Movement and the Vietnam War. Through this nightly ritual, Sherry was able to re-energize and attack the next day’s challenges anew.

“I-House got a two-for-one deal,” says Susan Klee, Administrative Assistant to Sherry. “The organization benefitted in a myriad of ways from the commitment both of them felt to the institution.”

The 26 years Team Warrick spent at I-House forever impacted Sherry and Betsey, as well as all who lived at I-House during that time. Theirs is a story of steadfast commitment and inspiring passion not only to I-House and its mission, but also to each other.

Soumitra Dutta and Lourdes S. Casanova

Soumitra Dutta and Lourdes S. Casanova (IH 1985)

We, Soumitra Dutta, an Indian national and Lourdes Casanova, a Spanish national, met at the I-House during our stay in the fall of 1985. 30 years later and after having worked at the INSEAD business school in France for 23 years, we are back in the US. Soumitra is Dean of the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University and Lourdes is Senior Lecturer and Academic Director of the Emerging Markets Institute at the same school. Our 27 year old daughter Sara is working now in Washington after her phD at the University of Oxford. We are very grateful to the I-House for making us feeling at home when we first came to the US and making it possible for us to meet and start a family and a journey together.

Sunil Kanwar (IH 1987-88)

I-House came as a breath of fresh air – a bunch of intelligent, erudite, cultured, and some highly talented and interesting individuals, thrown together. Supper hours from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm were at first unusual, but to which I quickly adjusted; the well-topped up bowl of multiple flavours of all-you-can-eat ice-cream being something I looked forward to. My south Indian vegetarian colleagues, though, had a somewhat more difficult time with the predominantly non-vegetarian cuisine, as I would sympathetically observe them add something ad hoc to a bowl of white rice and stick the concoction into the microwave.

Sharachchandra Lele (IH 1987)

When I came to I-House, I found the dinner timings really strange (5:30 pm to 7 pm) because at home I always had dinner after 8:30 pm. So I would come in as late as possible. But then the sole vegetarian entre would often be over. So I often ended up eating bread, jam and juice for dinner. But there also was ice-cream: 6 flavors and unlimited quantities. Not surprisingly, I put on 16 pounds in 6 weeks! Then I had to put a stop to this silly diet, and luckily, intra-mural sports started just then. So I ended up in a volleyball team with a guy of Armenian descent and another who was Uruguayan! That was the beauty of I-House, food funnies notwithstanding!

Kiran Shah (IH 1973 - 76)

I came to I-House as a foreign student from India. I remember my stay as most enjoyable experience in my life. I made new friends with whom I used to go see movies and dance at the I-House dance class. I also had a chance to become Coffee Hour host for one quarter. I used to make coffee and bring it with cookies every Wednesday at Coffee Hour.

Happy 85th Birthday to I-House.


Dong-Keun Shin

Dr. Dong-Keun Shin (IH 1983)

The UC Berkeley’s International House provided me a stage that I could have the first performance of my song ‘Ga-si-ri’ for Korean Cultural Festival in 1983. On the festival’s evening, two female Korean Cal students sang the song in front of about 300 Korean Cal alumni and their friends. The performance has encouraged me to compose more songs. Although I am a computer scientist, I made my own music CD and had a few musical performances in Seoul, Korea. Not only I have enjoyed my life much while I sing my song playing guitar or piano but also I have influenced people with my lyrics that delivers my message to the public. I wish that many Cal students enjoy what they love to do and have an opportunity to show their performance to others at the UC Berkeley Campus.

Good luck on your celebrating 85 years of I-House!





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