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International House hosted its 2017 Awards Gala

International House hosted its 2017 Awards Gala on Thursday, May 4, 2017, at the Rainbow Room in New York City.

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 04: Asian Institute of Management Founder and Chairman Emeritus Washington Z. SyCip accepts an award onstage at the International House 2017 Awards Gala at The Rainbow Room on May 4th, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for International House) *** Local Caption *** Washington Z. SyCip

More than 200 Trustees, Alumni, Residents, and friends joined International House President Calvin Sims to celebrate excellence in leadership exemplified by Washington Z. SyCip and BNY Mellon, as well as pay tribute to David Rockefeller, who served as an International House Trustee from 1940 until his recent passing; his niece Abby O’Neill, who served as a Trustee starting in 1958 until her death; and Dr. Frederic Rueckert, a long-time supporter of the House. All were great advocates for the mission and helped promote the intuition’s core values of respect, empathy and moral courage during their lifetimes.

“David and Abbey Rockefeller gave International House almost a century of inspiration and we are deeply grateful for their legacy,” Sims noted to guests in his welcoming remarks. “It is a legacy that began in 1924, as a dream…a vision based on kindness…to provide a place of refuge and sanctuary where those coming from afar could feel part of an accepting, inclusive community. And as I look across this grand ballroom, it is indeed validating to see this gorgeous mosaic of diverse people from all corners of the world who have come support this
extraordinary institution.”

Mr. SyCip, 96, is founder of SGV Group, one Asia’s largest and most prestigious accounting and consulting firms, a Founder and the Chairman Emeritus of the Asian Institute of Management, and has dedicated his life to promoting business models based in meritocracy, where individuals can thrive regardless of race or family background. He was presented with the Edmonds Award for International Understanding by International House Trustees Ambassador Frank G. Wisner, who serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Susan Stupin, Co-Founder of The Prescott Group.

“I stayed at International House when I was first introduced to America, at about 18 years of age,” he explained. “Thank you for inviting me back. I am so happy and grateful to be here.”

BNY Mellon Chairman and CEO Gerald Hassell accepted the Rockefeller Award for Distinguished Philanthropic Service on behalf of his company.  The award was introduced by Peter O’Neill, Chair of the Executive Committee of the International House Board of Trustees and great-grandnephew of the late David Rockefeller.

“The mission of International House resonates more than ever in the current climate,” Hassell noted in his acceptance.

“This organization’s work to promote cross-cultural understanding and foster harmony and respect between people of different cultures and backgrounds is desperately needed. Thank you to International House for allowing BNY Mellon to be part of that important work.” – Gerald Hassell, CEO, BNY Mellon

In addition, International House also paid special tribute to Trustee and Alumnus Donald L. Cuneo, who served as President and CEO of the institution from 1993-2013, for his decades of extraordinary service and commitment.

The evening was also highlighted by the introduction of the International House Welcome Fund which will support Residents whose personal circumstances may have been adversely impacted by some dislocation – whether on-the-ground realities in their home countries or policy changes in the US or elsewhere. The fund will provide current and future Residents important opportunities for education and leadership development, as well as the benefits that come with a welcoming, international community of peers where different religions and cultures are accepted and celebrated.

Katie and Peter O’NeillMandy and Adam Quinton, and Susan Stupin and Theodore Gamble served as Gala Co-Chairs.

View pictures from the 2017 International House Awards Gala here.