An outpouring of praise and admiration from around the world greeted the announcement that Donald L. Cuneo, who has been associated with International House for 47 years as a resident member, alumnus, Trustee and, since 1993, as President and CEO, would retire this summer.
made the announcement to the I-House community on February 12, 2013, saying he
had reached the decision to step down after 20 years as President "with decidedly mixed feelings."
Chairman Frank G. Wisner praised Cuneo as "an incredible leader" who has exemplified the mission of I-House's founders in every way.
worked with the Board to secure I-House's future by substantially growing its endowment during his
presidency, ensuring the quality of its resident programming, increasing financial aid to deserving resident members, and supporting a strong alumni relations program.
With the Board and staff, Cuneo
raised over $45 million, including the $21.5 million 75th Anniversary Capital Campaign of 1999-2002, which boosted the endowment and resulted in the renovation of resident rooms, floors and public spaces in I-House South, and significant repairs to the North Building.
rebuilt and incorporated the International Houses Worldwide (IHWW) as a strong and growing family of I-Houses around the world.
At the Candlelight Sunday Supper on May 12th, Cuneo
exhorted residents to carry on the I-House mission into their families, communities, and professions.
"There is no higher calling than working alongside your fellow resident members, figuratively and literally, to serve a higher purpose, to serve your fellow human beings and improve everyone's opportunities and happiness," he
Cuneo, who received a standing ovation at the end of his last Sunday Supper as President, was introduced by Executive Committee Chairman William D. Rueckert.
"By my estimate," said Rueckert, addressing Cuneo
, "during your 20 years as president, you have influenced the lives of well over 10,000 residents, and more importantly, an entire generation of global citizens."
Cuneo lived at I-House from 1966 to 1969 while pursuing a JD and MBA from Columbia University, founded the I-House Tutorial Program, and later returned as Resident Advisor.
In 1971 he joined the international law firm Shearman & Sterling, where he would remain for 22 years.
Elected to the I-House Board in 1977, he served as secretary of the Board and led the New York Area Alumni Council in the late 1980s.
In 1993, he was unanimously elected President and CEO, the first alumnus to hold the position, and only the seventh institutional head since the House opened in 1924.
was feted at a reception hosted by the New York Area Alumni Council
on May 30th, with other farewell festivities planned during the month of June.
"The I-House family has been an inspiration to me and my family," he