Theodora Helgason ’22
Alumna and Lifetime Trustee Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler ’72 was best known on campus for the residence hall named in her honor and affectionately nicknamed “GJW” by current students. President Lara Tiedans announced that Jungels-Winkler passed away on Oct 31 in an email to the student body sent out on Nov 2. “Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Residence Hall owes much of its grace and beauty to the suggestions made by Mrs. Jungels-Winkler during the design process,” Former Scripps College President, Nancy Y. Bekavac, said. Yet, Jungels-Winkler’s impact on campus was much larger than the residence hall named for her. She embodied Scripps in her dedication to the humanities, her passion for art, and her love for beauty, on and off Scripps campus.Jungels-Winkler’s explored Europe, Asia, and Africa in her early life. According to a Scripps Alumna Magazine article from Fall 2008, “Gabrielle was born in Hong Kong but holds Swiss citizenship,” Former Director of Public Relations and Communication, Mary Bartlett, wrote. “With a strong background and interest in history and art, she came to Scripps and majored in art history (Gabrielle spent her junior year at L’Ecole du Louvre in Paris)…” Bartlett said. “After graduating from Scripps, she married, and while her former husband was earning his PhD in geophysics at Caltech, she worked in the Caltech public relations office.” According to Bartlett, Jungels-Winkler lived in the Netherlands with her former husband after her life at Scripps. They then moved to Borneo, and later Angola. “She not only learned how to grow her own food, but started an infirmary in Angola, where medical knowledge and help were minimal,” Bartlett said.“Also, due to her undergraduate classes in psychology at Scripps’ Mary B. Eyre School, she started a nursery school in Angola that eventually was so successful it became accredited, and still is. This is where she learned Portuguese, the national language.” “Gabrielle spoke English, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese, in addition to her first language, Cantonese,” Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, Carolyn Robles, said. She moved to the UK after her years in Borneo and Angola. The Voice reached out to Carolyn Ditte Wagner ’72, an alumna and former Scripps trustee who was close friends with and a classmate of Jungels-Winkler. “After Gabrielle settled in London, she bought a working farm in the country,” Wagner said. “Most of the 1,000 acres were devoted to crops and grazing and the remaining 200 acres were conserved as woodlands. She completely restored the 18th century residence (which is listed on the National Trust) along with the property’s gardens and wall garden.” Jungels-Winkler’s dedicated work on her farm helped the local community. “As the proprietor of a working farm with a listed historic home, Gabrielle’s responsibilities included strategic decisions regarding the farming plan, the purchase and sale of land, the employment of farming staff, the requisition of vehicles and machinery, financial management, and maintaining the residence in accordance with its official designation. Under Gabrielle’s direction, the property became a model of enlightened organic farming and environmental sustainability, as evidenced by its use of thermal energy and solar power,” Wagner said. “It was also an active contributor to the region’s economic health and civic well being through its support of artisanal crafts and local businesses.” Jungels-Winkler’s leadership extended beyond her farm. She was president of the G J-W International and UK Foundations. “Gabrielle oversaw two seven-member boards of directors and had primary responsibility for strategic planning, financial management, investments, and governance. She also oversaw the allocation of grants and monitored the implementation of grants to ensure compliance with contractual terms,” Wagner said.
Jungels-Winkler became visually impaired in her late 30’s and dedicated her time to making art accessible to the visually disabled. “Having become visually disabled at the age of 37, Gabrielle sought to extend visual arts education to those who share her disability,” Wagner said. “For instance, with two professors she created a “touch and feel” book for all major museums in the UK which provides a multi-sensory approach to experiencing the visual arts. Readers of the books, which were written in Braille, were able, for instance, to experience through touch oil on canvas and gouache on paper. The books were accompanied by audio tapes featuring period music to match each painting.” Jungels-Winkler worked to implement policies that helped people with disabilities in the UK. “In the early 1980’s, she worked with the British Dyslexic Association, serving as Information Officer, and helped push through the 1983 Education Act” Bartlett said. “This cause was of particular importance to her, as her twins were identified as dyslexic.” Her son, Christophe Jungels-Winkler currently serves on the Scripps Board of Trustees. “In addition to her service on the Board of Trustees of Scripps College and the foundations previously noted, Gabrielle was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Academy of Arts and was an Overseer Trustee of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens” Wagner said. “She was actively engaged as a Friend of the Great Hall at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, a Member of the European Land Owner’s Association, and a Member of the Historic Houses Association.” She gave generous gifts to Scripps that have had a lasting impact on students and faculty. “Most recently, Gabrielle advanced the More Scripps Campaign with a $3.1 million gift in support of the arts and humanities, which also enabled Scripps to create an endowed faculty chair in the history of architecture and art and to provide ongoing support for the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery,” President Tiedans wrote. Jungels-Winkler used her wealth to help other Scripps students. In her time at Scripps, her wealth was not a barrier between her and other students. “Gabrielle and I came from very different backgrounds–I was a scholarship student and the first in my family to go to college–but this difference was never a divider,” Wagner said. “Rather, the difference promoted empathy and strengthened our friendship.” The Scripps experience allowed Jungels-Winkler to form meaningful friendships on campus. “We shared so much–the excitement and perhaps trepidation of being away from home, the thrill of embarking on a new educational path, the pressure to do well in class, and the joy of having lots adventures,” Wagner said. “These commonalities were unifying.” On Oct. 3, 2008, Scripps awarded Jungels-Winkler with the Ellen Browning Scripps Society Award. The award commemorates individuals who exemplify Ellen Browning Scripps’ devotion and dedication. Her love for the beauty of Scripps campus and her generous impact on the college have inspired Scripps to commision the “Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Rose.” “This rose will fill the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Rose Garden adjacent to Balch Hall, and we anticipate that its abundant blooms and fragrance will soon make this garden a cherished spot for reflection and study. An on-campus dedication ceremony for the garden will take place in the spring,” President Tiedens said. There will be an opening ceremony this spring for the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Rose Garden. It will be a setting for the Scripps community to symbolically thank Jungels-Winkler for her contributions to Scripps by appreciating the beauty and the humanities that she loved.