International House of New York

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International House New York
WTM wikiWhat 069.jpg
FoundersJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr., Cleveland Hoadley Dodge, Harry Edmonds
FocusEducational and cross cultural collaboration and leadership training
Area served
Current 700 residents, 65,000 alumni
Key people
Endowment$35 million
International House
International House of New York is located in New York City
International House of New York
International House of New York is located in New York
International House of New York
International House of New York is located in the United States
International House of New York
Location500 Riverside Drive, New York, New York
Coordinates40°48′49″N 73°57′43″W / 40.81361°N 73.96194°W / 40.81361; -73.96194Coordinates: 40°48′49″N 73°57′43″W / 40.81361°N 73.96194°W / 40.81361; -73.96194
Area1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
ArchitectLouis E. Jallade; Marc Eidlitz and Sons
Architectural styleItalianite
NRHP reference #99001129[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 10, 1999

International House New York, also known as I-House, is a private, non-profit residence and program center for graduate students, scholars engaging in research, trainees and interns. I-House's 700 resident members live in a diverse residential community that promotes mutual respect, friendship, and leadership skills across cultures and fields of study. Informal daily interaction among its residents combine with specially designed programs, facilities and residential life to foster diversity of thought and experience. International House has been known to attract prominent guest speakers through the years, from Eleanor Roosevelt and Isaac Stern to Sandra Day O'Connor and Nelson Mandela.

Students attend various universities and schools throughout the City of New York, including Columbia University, Juilliard School, Actors' Studio Drama School, New York University, the Manhattan School of Music, the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the City University of New York, among others.[2][3]

Housing 700 students from over 100 countries (with about one-third of those coming from the United States), International House is located at 500 Riverside Drive, next to Riverside Park in the historic Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan near Columbia University and other educational institutions. The original entrance to International House is inscribed with the motto written by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.: "That Brotherhood May Prevail"; the piazza (The Abby O'Neill Patio) of its entrance opens onto Sakura Park, the site of Japan's original gift of cherry trees to New York City in 1912.

The 500 Riverside Drive building, designed in the Italianite style by architects Louis E. Jallade and Marc Eidlitz and Sons, was built in 1924 and was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as International House in 1999.[1]


The initial impetus for forming I-House occurred when, after a chance encounter with a lonely Chinese graduate student at Columbia University in 1909, YMCA official Harry Edmonds, began efforts to obtain funding to establish the House in order to foster relationships between students from different countries. International House opened its doors in 1924 with funding from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (who later funded identical houses at the University of Chicago and the University of California at Berkeley), as well as the Cleveland Hoadley Dodge family. Other Rockefeller family members to have served on the board of trustees include Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. John D. Rockefeller III, David and Peggy Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, Jr., Abby M. O'Neill, and Peter M.O'Neill.

International House was one of the first of many international houses in a global movement to create a diverse environment for international students seeking to further their education. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. built International Houses at Berkeley, Chicago, and Paris prior to World War II. Other cities with international houses include: Philadelphia, Harrisburg, San Diego, and Washington, D.C., United States; Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin, and Wollongong, Australia; Alberta, Canada; Auckland, New Zealand; and London, England.[4]

The chairman of the Board of Trustees is longtime diplomat and businessman Ambassador Frank G. Wisner. The Chairman of the Board's Executive Committee is William D. Rueckert, a member of the Dodge family, whose generous gifts contributed to the development of both International House and the Columbia University Teachers College. I-House's current president is Calvin Sims, a former Program Officer at The Ford Foundation and foreign correspondent for The New York Times.

Trustees and Board Members[edit]

Current Chairman of the Board[edit]

Honorary Trustees[edit]

Chairman of the Executive Committee[edit]

  • William D. Rueckert - Oyster Management Group, LLC

Past Chairmen of the Board[edit]

Past Honorary Chairman[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Auditorium inside I-House

An estimated 65,000 individuals have lived in I-House from around the world. Among the more notable alumni are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ international house
  3. ^ I House description
  4. ^ "International Houses Worldwide". International House. Retrieved 14 February 2012.

External links[edit]