Newsletter from International Student House
Washington, DC

              Winter 2016

Dear Friends,
Over the past few months, I have been delighted to get to know dozens of new graduate students and interns who are now living at the House.  At first, they were strangers to each other and to me.  And as Dorothée, a resident scholar from Germany, says upon arrival, ISH-DC and Washington can feel a bit overwhelming .

But within a few weeks, she and other students settled into life at the House with a little help from our "old-timers" - students like Gayatri, Alex, Rose, Arthur, and Cameron who have returned for their second year.  They have become go-to guides to Washington and American culture. 

Sadly, we recently lost a beloved go-to person for residents and alumni.  David Ruiz, our colleague and House Business Manager for 20 years, passed away in August.  He was a friend to dozens of alumni and often the first person to welcome new residents when they arrived.  In his memory, his family established the David Ruiz Fund for Alumni Activities.  Thank you for your cards, letters, Facebook posts and generous gifts to his memorial fund.  I know his family is very grateful for your kindness. 

I also greatly appreciate your generosity and support.  Friends and alumni like you, have made a difference in the lives of resident scholars and an impact on our House.  As the holidays and the end of year approach, I hope you will continue to support ISH-DC.
The cross-cultural environment ISH-DC provides to young people is critically needed.  In the face of changing attitudes and tones that are not welcoming to international students, our commitment to diversity and inclusion remains as it has for the past 80 years.  If you wish to support our mission, you may do so here.   

With appreciation and warm regards for the holidays,
Thomas A. O'Coin
Executive Director 
The Best Moments of Life at the House

Our resident bloggers capture life at the House - the thought provoking and the laugh-out-loud funny moments.  My Three favorite blog stories of 2016 are:

1. ISH: Community/Home. Or "ISH staff are like bouncers at a nightclub...".

2. You Literally Won't Believe ThISH. Katherine shares the extraordinary relationships and experiences she had at ISH-DC in her own clever way.

3. "So I climbed into one of the Garbage Dumbsters Outside..." Technically not from 2016, but Cornelia's story is wonderful.
Remembering David Ruiz 

David was a gentle spirit, a friend to many of you, and an institution at the House for 20 years. 
David Ruiz, our Business Manager, passed away suddenly on August 15.  In September, we held a memorial service at the House with his family and more than 150 alumni, current residents, and friends.  ISH-DC alumni from across the US and as far away as Japan flew to Washington for the service and to share their fond memories of David. 

Here, at the House, we remember David for his sly sense of humor and his love of movies.   Many times, my colleagues and I have made a reference to a movie or asked who starred in that picture.  Then, I stop and think "David would have known that." 

For those of you who knew David, we ask that you celebrate with us his extraordinary commitment not only to ISH-DC, but to his deep and endearing personal relationships with our residents and alumni.

To commemorate David's commitment to ISH-DC alumni, his family established the David Ruiz Fund for Alumni Activities.   The Fund supports events and programs for alumni.   Many of you have already contributed to the Fund.  We greatly appreciate your generosity. 

If you would like to make a gift to the David Ruiz Alumni Fund or for more information, click here.    
Thank You for a Successful Global Leadership Awards Dinner

On September 8, our House sparkled for our 2016 Global Leadership Awards Dinner. Dozens of foreign Ambassadors, Members of Congress, alumni, and guests attended this event to recognize three US Members of Congress who have made great contributions to international understanding. Senator Ed Markey received our Global Champion Award.  Congressmen Ed Royce and Eliot Engel were co-recipients of our 2016 Global Leadership Award.  We also honored Al-Monitor with our Global Media Award.  

Punit Talwar of Al-Monitor, Congressman Eliot Engel, Congressman Ed Royce, Senator Ed Markey

We are very grateful for your generosity and the support of our sponsors who made the event a great success.  Proceeds from the Awards Dinner support improvements to our historic House, operations, and programs for resident scholars.  See more photos 
from the Awards Dinner here.

 Congressman Martin Lancaster, Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany, Ambassador Haris Lalacos of Greece
Why Diana Davis Spencer Supports International Education

"International exchanges, travel, and going abroad for a semester, make you realize what it is to be in someone else's country.  Then, you make more of an effort to understand someone in your country who is here from abroad. "  

Diana Davis Spencer, Chairman and President of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, carries on her family's legacy of supporting education for students in the US and across the globe.  She and her family have supported ISH-DC and the International House movement for generations. Their generosity has allowed thousands of students to study in the United States.  
Read more about her here.
ISH-DC Holiday Traditions

Some ISH residents celebrated Thanksgiving with turkey and joining our Board Members holiday celebrations, and one went bull riding.

ISH-DC Residents at the home of Board Associate Richard Rodgers for Thanksgiving

For more than 50 years, our Board members and friends have opened their homes and shared their traditions with our international residents so they can experience Thanksgiving, a uniquely North American holiday. This year, several Board members invited residents to their homes and cooked amazing dishes to show off the food and recipes handed down in their families.  I want to thank our Board and students who carry on this tradition.    

And while some of our residents ate fantastic food, Alex and Claire traveled to Arizona where he entered a bull riding contest at the rodeo.  I want to congratulate Alex who stayed on the bull for 2 seconds.  I am happy to report that he has recovered from all aches and bruises.  
Are You an ISH-DC Alumni?  Want to Connect with Other Alumni?

I am delighted to share with you that we are developing an online portal which will allow alumni to find and connect with each other.  We plan to complete the portal and roll it out in 2017.
In addition, a small working group of alumni are planning programs and events for alumni.  Events are made possible by the generous contributions to the David Ruiz Alumni Fund

Stay tuned for further updates and information about how you can participate in the portal and events.     
Congratulations Meghan and Coen - Another Match Made at ISH

Meghan Tremarche (ISH-DC 2009, US) and Coen Lap (ISH-DC 2009, the Netherlands) were married on May 21, 2016.  

Meghan and Coen met in 2009 while living at the House.  Meghan was finishing her Masters at Johns Hopkins University while Coen was working as a fellow for the National Institutes for Health.  Coen returned to the Netherlands, and despite the long-distance and a major time difference, they knew this was something special. 

In May 2016, ISH-DC Alumni from the Netherlands, the US, Argentina, Morocco, Brazil, Lebanon, England, Spain and Serbia met in Massachusetts to celebrate another ISH-DC couple.  
News and Events

ISH-DC's Ambassadorial Dialogue Series brings prominent foreign Ambassadors to the House to discuss international issues with our resident scholars, alumni, friends, and guests. 

In November, we were pleased to welcome the British Ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch, who spoke on international security.   Over the summer the Ambassador of France, Gerard Araud, spoke at the House on the day of the historic "Brexit" vote in the UK.  The Ambassador discussed not only French foreign policy and "Brexit" but also gave us a behind the scenes look at the intricacies of negotiating international treaties. 

We are planning Ambassadorial Dialogue events in 2017 including a special Benelux evening featuring the Ambassadors of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. 

Save the Date: 
Annual Spring Garden Party is Thursday, May 4.
What You Can Do
ISH-DC relies on the generous support of you - our alumni, friends and supports!
  • Make a tax deductible contribution to ISH-DC here.
  • Follow ISH-DC on  Facebook
You allow ISH-DC to serve as the model international community to its graduate students, academics, and interns.   As the end of the year draws near, we ask you to make a contribution to the ISH-DC community today.
ISH appreciates your support. Donate  HERE  toda y!


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Additional Information

For more information about the International Student House, DC visit our website.