The Friends of the Max Kade Institute had its beginnings in 1983 when a group of community members interested in German-American culture, heritage, and immigration research came together to support the goals and activities of the newly founded Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In 1990, the Friends incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization. Membership dues and other donations to support the Friends are tax-deductible.

GermanFest06_Ed&FranAs members of the Friends, we volunteer and raise funds for the Institute, act as a liaison in our communities, underwrite the Friends of the Max Kade Institute Newsletter, and enjoy socializing at MKI events. We assist Max Kade Institute outreach programs and provide essential support for bringing national and international scholars to Wisconsin. We also raise awareness of the value of German-language materials produced in America and promote the donation of important resources to the Max Kade Institute Library and Archives. Many of us have ancestors from German-speaking Europe and are particularly interested in MKI-sponsored genealogy workshops and programs.

Under by-laws established in 1990, the Friends are managed by a Board of Directors, who are elected to three-year terms at an annual meeting in the spring.

Members of the 2015-2016 Board of Directors are:

Hans Bernet, Vice President, Monroe

Joshua Brown, Eau Claire
Karen Fowdy, Monroe
Steven Geiger, Wausau

Kay Gruling, Wausau
Mark Louden (ex officio), Sun Prairie
Fran Luebke, Brookfield

Todd Michalek, South Milwaukee
Antje Petty (ex officio), Fitchburg
John Pustejovsky, President, Whitefish Bay
Pamela Tesch, Secretary, Oconomowoc
William Thiel, Eau Claire
Donald Zamzow, Schofield

By supporting the Max Kade Institute, we are keeping the experiences and the heritage of German-American immigrants alive.