In Memoriam: Scripps trustee, alumna Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler

Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler SC ’72, namesake of the “GJW” dorm at Scripps College, died in her London home Oct 31. (Courtesy of Scripps College)

Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler SC ’72, a life-long supporter of arts and humanities education for the underprivileged, a voracious language-learner and world traveler, and a Life Trustee of Scripps College, died in her London home Oct. 31.

Throughout her life, Jungels-Winkler remained dedicated to her alma mater. She became a member of the board of trustees in 2003, donated a landmark $3.1 million to support Scripps arts and humanities, founded the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Scholarship, and funded a residence hall in her name, according to an article published on Scripps’ website.

About her time at Scripps, Jungels-Winkler wrote, “Scripps was seminal in giving me the intellectual, ethical, and social responsibility and cultural curiosity that have served me in such good stead all my life.”

The scholarship she created gives Scripps students the opportunity to earn their master’s degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Marielle Epstein SC ’18 is one of the students who has received the scholarship.

“I’m so deeply grateful to her . . . for enabling me to be at the Courtauld now, and I think the recipients of the scholarship are just one small part of the enormous impact she’s had,” Epstein wrote in a message to TSL.

Jungels-Winkler also endowed the contemporary European studies chair, the history of architecture and art chairs, and the director and curator positions in the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, according to the article from February. On campus, she is perhaps most well-known for funding the construction of the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler residence hall.

In a Scripps video tribute to Jungels-Winkler, Marc Herron, the chair of Scripps’ board of trustees, described her contributions to Scripps as “transformational.”

Jungels-Winkler is remembered by her friend and classmate Carolyn Ditte Wagner SC ’72 who  wrote: “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. … Rather, the difference promoted empathy and strengthened our friendship.”

We shared so much,” she wrote. “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 of adventures.”

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. … Rather, the difference promoted empathy and strengthened our friendship.”

Carolyn Ditte Wagner SC ’72

Jungels-Winkler was born in Hong Kong. At Scripps, she majored in art history, spending her junior year at L’ecole de Louvre in Paris, according to an article published by Mary Bartlett in Scripps magazine. After graduating, Jungels-Winkler moved to The Hague, Netherlands with her husband.

Following her time in the Netherlands, Jungels-Winkler moved to the state of Sarawak in Malaysia, where she voraciously explored her surroundings, once traveling eight hours by canoe to learn about the indigenous peoples native to Borneo, as described by Bartlett.

After Jungels-Winkler gave birth to twins Christophe and Alexandra, she moved with her family to Angola where they lived for five years. As the first emigrant wife living in Angola after the 1975 war, Jungels-Winkler founded an infirmary and a nursery school. She also learned to speak Portuguese, the country’s official language, according to Bartlett’s article.

Jungels-Winkler eventually moved to London, purchasing an 18th-century house and working on a farm in the English countryside. She restored the property and helped the farm become “a model of enlightened organic farming and environmental sustainability,” Wagner wrote in an email to TSL.

Jungels-Winkler became visually impaired at age 37, and as a result, she spearheaded the creation of “touch and feel” books for museums across the United Kingdom, using Braille to help those with sensory impairments experience the visual arts, Wagner wrote.

Wagner described Jungels-Winkler’s continued involvement with the arts and education. She founded and managed Jungels-Winkler Charitable Foundation, which strengthened access to arts education in underprivileged regions of the world. Notably, the foundation provided art materials and other educative resources to an orphanage in Malawi.

In an email sent to the Scripps student body, President Lara Tiedens wrote that Jungels-Winkler was the single largest donor to the Campaign for the Scripps Woman, and won the Ellen Browning Scripps Society Award Oct. 3, 2008.

To commemorate Jungels-Winkler, Tiedens wrote that Scripps has commissioned 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,” Tiedens wrote.

A memorial service for Jungels-Winkler will be held in London Nov. 27 at Our Most Holy Redeemer and St. Thomas More church.

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