April 29, 2015

International House Philadelphia’s Global Gala Celebrates Korea on May 9th

Korean cuisine, culture, arts, dance and music will take center stage
City Councilman At-Large David Oh is this year’s honoree

International House Philadelphia’s largest annual fundraising event takes place Saturday, May 9 at 6 p.m. when the non-profit organization holds its 54th annual Global Gala at its multicultural residential facility in University City.  Proceeds from the gala, which celebrates the culture and heritage of Korea this year, will support International House Philadelphia’s vital mission in a changing world.


“International House Philadelphia (IHP) brings the world together by housing more than 800 students, scholars and professional trainees each year from as many as 95 countries, including the United States,” President & CEO Tanya Steinberg said.  “With the generous support of our sponsors and donors, the Global Gala helps us maintain a diverse, welcoming community for our international residents – the leaders of tomorrow – as they pursue their studies at universities and colleges in Philadelphia.” 

Each year, the Global Gala showcases a different country and its culture, reflecting IHP’s mission to encourage understanding, respect and cooperation among people of all nations and broaden the horizons of its residents and the community.  In addition to providing student housing and language programs, IHP is renowned for offering a wide range of international films, art exhibits, cultural programs and live music for the Greater Philadelphia community and residents of the House, which is located at 3701 Chestnut Street, near the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. 

Global Gala Highlights 

Global Gala: Korea gets underway with a VIP reception at 6 p.m., followed by a cocktail hour for all guests starting at 6:30 p.m. on IHP’s outdoor patio, which will feature authentic Korean BBQ and hors d’oeuvres and Soju cocktails. Guests will enjoy a silent auction and a full open bar throughout the evening and move indoors for a formal seated dinner featuring traditional Korean cuisine.  They’ll also get a taste of Korean arts, culture and music, with special performances by accomplished Korean musicians, dancers and vocalists.  A Global Gala After-Party starts at 9 p.m., featuring desserts, an open bar, live dance and vocal performances, a DJ spinning “K-Pop” and dance music, and late night karaoke in two languages – English and Korean. The event concludes at 2 a.m.

This year’s Global Gala honoree is David Oh, City Councilman At-Large.  Born and raised in Philadelphia, Councilman Oh is a distinguished Korean-American who has made a positive impact in the community for more than 25 years.  He was elected to City Council in 2011 and his father founded Philadelphia’s first Korean-American church in 1953.

“IHP is proud to honor Councilman Oh, the first Asian-American elected to political office in Philadelphia and a leader who shares our commitment to diversity and international understanding,” Ms. Steinberg said. “Many of the students and scholars that live in our House are from Asia Pacific countries, including more than 40 this year from Korea. Through an array of cultural programs and activities, we introduce them to the American experience and our great city of Philadelphia.”

The emcee for the Global Gala will be Alex Holley, the co-host of Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia.

Although seating at the Global Gala has reached its capacity, $50 tickets are still available for the Global Gala After-Party, which runs from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.  To purchase tickets or learn more about supporting International House Philadelphia, contact IHP’s Development Office at 215-895-6528 or elina@ihphilly.org.  After-Party tickets are also available online at www.ihousephilly.org/globalgala.

The presenting sponsor of this year’s Global Gala is Wells Fargo.  Supporting sponsors are the University of Pennsylvania and Progressive Business Publications. Friend sponsors include Drexel University, Elliot Lewis, PNC Bank and Tim Haahs. 

IHP held a series of Korea-themed cultural events leading up to the Global Gala, including an art exhibit, Bridge to Korea, featuring works by Sueim Koo and Namsook Kwon, that is open to the public and runs through the end of June.

Visit www.ihousephilly.org to learn more about International House Philadelphia, which offers affordable student housing for individuals and groups, world-class film, arts and cultural programming, language courses and facilities in the heart of University City.