Dear I-House Community -
As we now celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the founding of International House at UC Berkeley, our mission still rings true: to foster intercultural respect and understanding, lifelong friendships, and leadership skills for a more just and peaceful world. While we celebrate, commemorate, and contemplate the collective achievements of our 95,000 distinguished alumni, it is also important to remember the inspirational words of John D. Rockefeller Jr., the original I-House Berkeley benefactor, written at the time of our founding in a letter to President Robert G. Sproul in the fall of 1930:
“By bringing together in unfettered cooperation the educated young people of all lands, many of whom will in years to come be leaders in their several countries, and by giving them full opportunity for frank discussion on terms of equality, there is being performed, I believe, a service for the well-being of the world, the importance of which it is difficult to over-value. International House is a laboratory for a new kind of experiment – the day to day practice of international fellowship among men and women. Such a community of university students, representing all nations, living together beneath one roof, will further the cause of peace throughout the world; for peace is the product of knowledge and understanding.”
Prior to the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the sad but necessary decision to close International House temporarily for public health and safety, and the dramatic impacts on our budget and staffing, I-House had planned several in person 90th Anniversary celebrations. In this 90th Anniversary edition of I-House Connection, I’d like to share with you several ways to mark the occasion with us in the virtual space. More details will be sent to you in the days and weeks to come:
Accept our invitation to join I-House Berkeley Connect, our new Global Community Initiative engagement and mentoring platform ihouse.berkeley.edu/connect;
Visit a special I-House 90th Anniversary website ihouse.berkeley.edu/90years with stories and historic photographs; and
Consider the opportunity to make a special gift in recognition of our 90th Anniversary to honor the remarkable history of I-House and to support us now in preparation for our reopening, at ihouse.berkeley.edu/makeagift.
I’m also pleased to let you know that I plan to host several informal virtual chats in the coming months to get to know you, to hear directly from you in a small group setting, and to answer questions. We’ll also be facilitating a community survey to gather the best ideas for our reopening, and for navigating the months and years to come. We’re hoping that a virtual Global Homecoming series of events during UC Berkeley’s Homecoming weekend will allow for sharing of the hallmark energy and excitement you’ve come to expect whenever our community comes together. Finally, prior to the pandemic, we commissioned an extraordinary commemorative artistic expression for our 90th anniversary by noted artist David Goines, and we shall be in touch with you soon about how to get a print for your collection.
In closing, I encourage you to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas, suggestions, concerns, or questions you may have. My personal thanks for your support in keeping the I-House dream alive!
Shaun R. Carver
Executive Director, International House