Donald L. Cuneo Hall of History Dedicated
The I-House community gathered on October 6 to formally dedicate the Donald L. Cuneo Hall of History, a lively, re-imagined space that highlights events, milestones, and resident life at the House, and celebrates the accomplishments of the many alumni whose lives have been transformed by the I-House experience.
The new Hall is dedicated to Don Cuneo (1944-2018), who devoted more than 50 years of his life to I-House as resident, alumnus, trustee and, president. Members of his family, including wife Bonnie Cuneo, daughter Kristen Cuneo Drake, son-in-law Brian Drake, and grandchildren Landon and Skylar Drake, who cut the red ribbon, officially opened the revived space with President Sebastian Fries.
“Don Cuneo clearly meant so much to so many people, said Fries. “He set a high bar; his legacy and leadership live on at International House.”
Paying tribute to Cuneo in dedicating the Hall were longtime trustee William Dodge Rueckert, Director of Alumni Relations John A. Wells, World Council of Alumni member Karl Connor ’95, and Kristen Cuneo Drake. Wells recalled how Cuneo established the original Hall of History in 1997 “to convey the extraordinary history of the House, and those associated with it, to new generations.”
The exhibition includes panels and media that feature photos, documents and artifacts from the I-House Archives associated with the House’s founding families, notable alumni and guest speakers, programs and cultural events, and resident life during the House’s first 100 years.
Display cases filled with images of the various programs, cultural celebrations and resident life from over 100 years line the walls, and cases in corners and coffee table displays take advantage of existing lounge areas to convey historical information as residents and visitors relax and engage with one another.
Two round display tables highlight two notable alumnae, philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis ’30 and legendary operatic soprano Leontyne Price ‘52, with photos, individual stories with archival objects from each.
A large-scale interactive touchscreen presents videos of historic films from1949 to 2016, including resident video yearbooks, a 1987 interview with Herman “HR” Rottenberg, and the historic 2000 visit of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
In the same space, a large memorabilia case features artifacts that include Harry Edmonds’ portable typewriter, letters from Harry S. Truman and Barak Obama, and a silver baby cup gifted the first child of a married couple who met at I-House.
More than 200 I-House alumni and friends contributed to the creation of the Cuneo Hall of History, which was designed by C&G Partners of New York.