Lorie Vanchena is proud to work in the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies at KU. A faculty member in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, she also an enthusiastic spokesperson.
KU’s Max Kade Center is one of a number across the United States. Located in the former Sudler House in the northwest corner of the KU campus, the historic stone building features turrets outside, walnut paneling in the interior, and a secret room in the basement. The building is now owned by the German Department,
The original purpose of all Max Kade centers was to foster the study of German-speaking immigrants from Europe and their contributions to America. In recent years, the scope has widened to include the study of the influence of Germans in America more broadly and the impact that their presence had.
The Max Kade Center at KU flourishes through collaboration. The German Department promotes teaching, research, and programs about migration from German-speaking Europe to American. It supports KU international inititiaves for exchange and engagement.
There is also a close working relationship with Spencer Research Library on campus and its archives. Although there are many books at the Max Kade Center, it is not a library. Books are transferred to the Spencer where they can be catalogued and preserved.
The German Department and the Center also collaborate with the Watkins Museum of History. In 2017, they lent artifacts and expertise to create an exhibit and related events about the Turnverein association in Lawrence and the Turnhalle that they built in east Lawrence.
In another collaborative effort, Watkins Museum Director Steve Nowak is teaching a class in museum collections management in the Max Kade Center space. The students in the course are creating a structure for the collections in the Max Kade Center, labeling shelves, and developing a risk management plan.