Grace Whitney Hoff was born on October 22, 1862, in Detroit, Michigan. She married John Jacob Hoff on April 3rd, 1900, and together they left the United States for France which became their adopted country. Using her personal fortune for philanthropic work, she cared for soldiers wounded in World War I and she founded a retirement home in Peyrieu (Ain) for war widows. Her most important contribution, however, was the construction of the Foyer International in France for American women studying abroad. She was actively involved in all aspects of the building process because she wanted students to be housed in comfortable and clean surroundings. For her efforts and generosity she was awarded the Academic Palms in 1923 and the medal of the Legion of Honor in 1925. Grace Whitney Hoff died in Lausanne, France on December 18, 1938.