International House Berkeley

I-House Times Spring 2020

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A s we move through our 90th year of service here in Berkeley, we have thought much about the legacy that International House has established over these nine decades. Given that we have provided housing and dining services to some 95,000 students, scholars, and researchers over this time frame, the sheer volume of our service dimensions is quite astounding. With so much traffic moving through our building every day, we have been, and continue to be, a safe harbor to many and, at the same time, also a place where our residents and guests have their minds expanded in some profound ways. Simply put, we have been a home base to so many individuals who have international aspirations for their lives and we have also been a place that draws people together and helps them engage with one another. I believe that in a highly polarized society characterized by polemics, nothing is more important than a place which builds community and demonstrates daily how important it is to get along well with one another. is special I-House legacy is seen and experienced in myriad ways: • It takes shape in the lifelong relationships that are founded here; • It flourishes through the peer learning opportunities that are so evident among our residents; • It is enhanced when our residents realize that there is more than one right approach to life; • It multiplies its impact when our alumni leave and go out into the world with a changed mindset about international cooperation and understanding; and • It is further cemented when our alumni decide to give back to this mission because they realize its importance for the future of our world. As I come to the end of my own tenure of service at I-House, I have been assessing my own sense of legacy here. Beyond the daily tasks of efficient and effective administration and prudent management of our resources, I see my most important legacy as being one of establishing a strong sense of community in this enchanting facility and then re-establishing it annually as our cohorts of residents come and go. In this task, I have been supported by so many dedicated and talented colleagues, most of whom I have had a hand in hiring and developing. So, ultimately, for both the organization and me the primary legacy is not the facility or the significant number of improvements that have been implemented during my tenure, but rather the sense of community found here that is forged by the staff and residents who make it such a special place. My heartfelt hope and desire is that the community spirit of I-House will continually deepen and flourish and that it will be known across the entire UC Berkeley campus as an exemplary service provider which cultivates a special atmosphere, which our alumni carry with them wherever they go in life. is spirit is embodied in the lives of all those who come through our doors. May the spirit of I-House be ever stronger and impactful into the very corners of the globe where our alumni will find their ways and establish their own communities, some of which may be modeled on what they experienced here in Berkeley. I would like to thank all of our alumni, staff, Board of Directors members, donors, and friends who continually strive to keep the I-House dream alive. n 2 International House Times Executive Director's Message A Fond Farewell Hans C. Giesecke, Executive Director Susan and Hans Giesecke Hans with I-House scholarship recipients

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