Remembering Gunilla Hastrup

Gunilla Hastrup, beloved Caltech Y family and Caltech community member, passed away last October. She was a remarkable person, and today, I write you to celebrate her life and legacy.


A native of Sweden, Gunilla was one of Caltech Y’s greatest champions. She believed in our group’s mission of promoting cultural awareness and broadening worldviews and devoted hours to helping our organization. Gunilla and her husband, Rolf Hastrup, were members of the Y board for many years on and off, from the 1970s until 2016. Even after she and Rolf stepped off the board, she continued to volunteer on several Y committees.

Shortly after Gunilla arrived in the United States in the 1950s, she befriended Ingrid Gumpel who welcomed her into the Caltech community. In fact, Ingrid’s encouragement and support led Gunilla to successfully apply for a job at the Caltech General Library. Gunilla later transferred to the Environmental Engineering Library where she met another good friend, Rayma Harrison. Through these positions, Gunilla got to know and connect with Caltech undergraduate and graduate students. Her participation in and enthusiasm for the Caltech Y is an extension of Gunilla’s care and concern for the students she met during her time at the library.