May 9, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 15

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    Chicago Consular Corps welcomed to I-House

    By Peter Schuler
    News Office

    President Randel greets members of Chicago’s Consular Corps during a reception at International House, where the University’s guests were invited for a dinner. The event, which was sponsored by the University’s five Area Studies Centers, the Center for International Studies and I-House, was the first of what will become an annual event.

    The ongoing renaissance of the University’s International House was reflected in a well-attended reception for Chicago’s Consular Corps held late last month. President Randel addressed 40 foreign government representatives at the first of what will become an annual event.

    He welcomed the diplomats with remarks that stressed “the growing importance of international programs and the University’s commitment to strengthen its Areas Studies Centers.”

    The gathering included directors and other faculty members from the University’s five Area Studies Centers and the Center for International Studies, who were partners with I-House in organizing the reception.

    “In the last decade the University has seen a consistent expansion of overseas programs and internships in the College and in the Graduate School of Business, as well as a dramatic increase in the number of foreign students,” said Henry Pernet, Director of International House.

    “I-House has renewed its mission to facilitate communication and collaboration among University departments and international organizations throughout the city.”

    In addition to a growing schedule of special events (see Chronicle Calendar Highlights for latest I-House lecture series, Page 11), I-House is in the process of a renovation of its public and private rooms. The large, graceful neo-Gothic building at the east end of the campus was designed by Holabird and Root and built in 1932 with funding from John D. Rockefeller Jr.

    Each year, I-House accommodates more than 300 graduate and advanced undergraduate residents, two-thirds of whom are from countries other than the United States. It has a rich history as the first Chicago residence for many foreign scholars, including Nobel laureates Enrico Fermi, James Cronin, George Stigler, T.D. Lee and C.N. Lang as well as University trustee Lien Chan, former Vice President of the Republic of China.

    Poet Langston Hughes lived in I-House in the 1940s, when integration was rare, and famously described it as “the nearest thing to an ivory tower that I have ever had.”