The Max Kade House is a Michigan Learning Community [MLC]. It is the only language house on campus, and provides a truly unique opportunity to undergraduates. The Max Kade House has a lot to offer to all students interested in German language and culture. Residents do not need to be German majors or minors—but it's great if they are!*
The top 10 Reasons to live in the Max Kade House (according to the Kade residents):
- You can speak and practice lots of German, including informal slang, in a relaxed environment.
- The people are very friendly—you have great neighbors with similar interests who become like a family, with a Head Resident/R.A. who looks after you and the program.
- There are many German activities, including Deutschtisch, Kaffeestunde and Filmabend.
The Max Kade House has a film series, being screened with Public Performance Rights. Please contact Alexandra Kalinowski, email@example.com, to find out about the film screening schedule and make arrangements to be let into North Quad.
- You live centrally located in North Quad and have a big room, and a *wunderbar* campus dining hall.
- You can always find someone to answer questions you may have about your German homework.
- You get to take an affordable, subsidized trip to a German-speaking city during spring break.
- You have mini-courses together that are fun.
- You get to know other German students and learn about German culture together.
- By living in the House, you are eligible to apply for the annual $1,000 George Valenta Scholarship.
- You can put the experience on your CV.
*In the event of unforeseen circumstances, we reserve the right to change the terms and conditions of the Spring Break trip at any time.
Interested in being a Max Kade Resident?
2013-14 Application Deadlines
The 2013-2014 application deadline has passed.
The following text was composed in February 1980 by Frank X. Braun, Professor Emeritus of German at the University of Michigan and former Faculty Associate of the Max Kade German House. It describes primarily the establishment of the Max Kade German House in Oxford Housing, where it was located until its move to Baits Housing in the Fall of 2000. Some more recent information has been added towards the end, but if anyone nostalgically surfing these pages has any information that could fill some of the gaps in this text since 1980, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org: we would love to be able to make this a complete account!
It is fitting to begin this historical account of the "Max Kade German House" with a brief biography of the man whose name the language house bears. Max Kade was born in Schwäbisch-Hall, Germany, in 1882. After absolving the Gymnasium, he spent some years as an apprentice in his father's machinery and bridge building business. He came to the United States at the age of 22, established his own business in 1911, manufacturing on the basis of a German formula a patented cough medicine, the immensely popular "Pertussin." Subsequently, he developed a flourishing pharmaceutical company (Seeck and Kade, Inc.). At the age of 75, still youthful and energetic, he retired, donated his company to the Max Kade Foundation Inc., and turned his attention from business to philanthropy.
Max Kade combined in his person the quality of a keen American businessman and a cultured individual with a profound love of learning and an urge to promote the exchange of knowledge across national boundaries. Over the 35 years of its existence, the Max Kade Foundation has contributed generously to American and European universities, particularly in the areas of postdoctoral fellowships in the sciences, in the founding of Max Kade Distinguished Professorships, and in student housing. The Foundation's program of supporting language houses resulted in establishing Max Kade German Houses at Colorado College, Oberlin College, the universities at Freiburg i.B. and München and other American and European universities and colleges. The University of Michigan is one of the recipients of the Foundation's generous grants.
Mr. Kade was awarded a number of honorary degrees, among them Dr. h.c. from the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart, an honorary Professorship from his home state Baden-Württemberg and the title "Honorary Senator" from the universities of Tübingen, München, Heidelberg, and Innsbruck.
Max Kade led a simple life. His chief extravagance was his profound love of art. After his retirement, he devoted much of his time to collecting paintings, drawings, and prints by the Old Masters such as Montagna, Schongauer, Dürer, and Rembrandt. Max Kade died on July 15, 1967. The Max Kade German House at the University of Michigan is but one of the monuments to the memory of a great and generous man.
Michigan's Max Kade German House
The seeds out of which grew the Max Kade House on this campus were planted by the Edgar Schwaibold, then President of the Star Watch Case Co., on the occasion of a hunting trip in Ludington, Michigan in the Fall of 1964. Students, 29 girls and 23 boys, in the form of a petition, enthusiastically supported the project in 1965 and Dr. Braun, backed up by the encouragement of Edgar Schwaibold, the advice of John Feldkamp, Director of University Housing, Frank Shiell, Manager of Services, Leonard Schaadt, Associate Director of Housing, and Robert M. Chance, U. of M. chief architect, decided to pursue further the idea of a German language house. In August, September and 0ctober 1966 he had a series of meetings with the architects, discussing specific plans of building an addition to Geddes House in the Oxford complex. Rough estimates of the total cost of the project, from foundation work to the interior decor of an "all purpose room" and a library, including air-conditioning, were arrived at. John Feldkamp was sufficiently impressed by the project to assume the financial risk of ordering detailed architectural plans and water color renderings to be submitted to the Max Kade Foundation together with an application for funds. The application was to be composed by Dr. Braun and was to present an overall rationale for the proposed language house in terms of academic, financial, organizational, social and all other pertinent aspects. This document, subsequently to be known as the "Constitution of the Max Kade House," was approved by the Housing Office and accompanied the architectural plans and renderings sent to the Max Kade Foundation on November 6, 1966.
The month of December 1966 was a fateful month for the prospective language house. Events, all of them happy ones, crowded each other as is evident from the compilation below.
Dec. 6, 1966 - Transmission of plans and application for funding to the Max Kade Foundation.
Dec. 14 - acknowledgement of the receipt of above materials by the Foundation. There was an optimistic note in Dr. Markel's letter.
Dec. 21 - A phone call from Dr. Erich H. Markel, President of the Max Kade Foundation, to the effect that the Foundation had extended a grant of $100,000.00 to the University of Michigan for building and equipping the Max Kade German House. A subsequent letter by Dr. Markel to U. of M. President Harlan E. Hatcher, also dated Dec. 21, 1966, indicated that a check for $50,000.00 was enclosed and that the balance was to be forwarded on the day of groundbreaking.
The year 1967 saw the final review of building plans, furnishings and interior decor in a series of meetings with the architect, interior decorator and finally with the contractor submitting the lowest bid (Richard Wagner!). There was some delay in the construction process due to a steel strike, but nevertheless the students, 28 girls, were able to move in in the fall semester 1967.
The first eight months, the "pioneering period" of the Max Kade German House, were anything but easy for the students and the House Director, Mrs. Irmgard M. Schneider, an experienced teacher and school administrator who had only recently arrived from Germany. In September 1967 the students moved in while the workers were pouring the foundation for the addition. The wall of the east living room consisted of plywood and dust; wind, rain and snow had nearly free access. Water pipes froze and the inhabitants of the house, with pots on their heads, would form a singing procession to borrow water from their neighbors. For months the Max Kade House resounded from six in the morning on, five days a week, with air hammers, electric drills and similar noisy instruments. The admirable patience and forbearance on the part of all inhabitants under the mature and competent direction of Mrs. Schneider was responsible for the survival in this stressful era of the Max Kade House. Finally on April 4, 1968 the addition was completed and the official "Opening" was celebrated in due form.
The Official Opening Of the Max Kade German House
The official opening of the Max Kade German House was indeed a gala affair. On April 4, 1968 at 8 o'clock Mary Dozman, a student and president of the Max Kade German House welcomed the guests (in German) and introduced Mrs. Irmgard M. Schneider, the first director of the Max Kade German House. Dr. Braun as M.C., then introduced Dr. Erich H. Markel, President of the Max Kade Foundation who spoke briefly and eloquently about the educational programs of the Foundation and introduced Mr. Edgar Schwaibold, member of the Board of Directors of the Max Kade Foundation. Dr. Markel concluded his remarks with a pleasant surprise: a $2,000 check for the purchase of books for the Max Kade German House library. He was followed by Executive Vice President of the University of Michigan, Marvin L. Niehuss, who, speaking for President Hatcher and the Regents, expressed their collective appreciation of the generous grant of the Foundation. John Feldkamp, Director of University Housing, welcomed the Max Kade German House as a new and important segment of the University's "living and learning" program. The last speaker was Konsul Erwin Hartmann of the German Consulate in Detroit, who briefly outlined the guidelines of cultural aspects of the German foreign policy.
Professor Braun also introduced a number of personalities who had assisted in making the Max Kade German House a reality: Messrs, Stickel and Weinbrenner of the architectural firm Frederick Stickel and Associates, designers of the Max Kade German House as well as of all the houses in the Oxford Housing Complex; the university architect in charge of the project, Mr. Robert M. Chance; Mr. Richard Wagner, the contractor in charge; members of the Board of Governors of Residence Halls: Professor Marie D. Hartwick, Prof. W. Earl Britton and Prof. Donald P. Eachmann. Members of Mr. Feldkamp's staff who took a bow were: Robert C. Hughes, Associate Director as well as assistant Directors Charlene A. Coady, Edward Salowitz and Dr. Helen Tamer; further Messrs Chester Melanoski, Paul Boyer and Roy Passon; for the Oxford maintenance team: Kevin Lynch, Hugo Söderquist, Joe Lallo and Paul Bies.
It was Dr. Braun's last but not least pleasant duty to express the gratitude of the Max Kade German House to Mrs. Harlan H. Hatcher , our former "first lady," for donating to the Max Kade German House her private collection of German literary works. He also thanked the Washington embassies of the German-speaking countries Austria, West Germany, and Switzerland for presenting to the Max Kade German House library collections of valuable and useful literary works.
During the second year of its existence, the house was again under the competent direction of Mrs. Irmgard Schneider. The activities initiated by her in the first year, at times under great handicaps, were fully developed. The organization and administration of the house was perfected. Norms and procedures were established that served as models for subsequent house directors of the Max Kade German House and traditions were born which live on in the House to this day.
In 1969, Mrs. Schneider relinquished her position as house director in order to devote herself to her doctoral work. She absolved her preliminary examinations and wrote her doctoral dissertation with speed and distinction, was granted the Ph.D. degree in July 1973, and in the Fall of the same year accepted a position as assistant professor of German at Oklahoma State University
In 1970, the Max Kade German House became co-educational, i.e. the occupants consisted of 15 men and 15 women on separate floors. This "bold" innovation, in line with the general trend in campus housing, was viewed with alarm by some. However, the results of co-educational housing in the Max Kade German House were positive, academically and socially, reinforcing our belief In the maturity of our students.
The experience of other language houses on this campus and of other institutions clearly demonstrated that the house director's linguistic and social competence, his or her ability to get along with students and administrators, his or her maturity and devotion to the welfare of the house, make or break a language house. The Max Kade German House, from its very inception, was blessed with outstanding house directors and sympathetic coordinators of the Oxford housing complex. At this juncture it might be appropriate to mention Mrs. Schneider's successors.
1969-71 - Mrs. Antje Mac Naughton. When Mr. Mac Naughton received his law degree, she relinquished her position.
1971-72 - Mr. and Mrs. Edwald Hatch. Both received their doctoral degrees in German and now  teach at Dayton University.
1972 - Ms. Helen Cafferty, Teaching assistant in the German Department assumed the vacant position for a semester. She subsequently accepted a position at Bowdoin College, Maine, received her Ph.D. from Michigan in 1976 and is currently  Professor of German at Bowdoin College.
1972-74 - Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Finton. Mr. Finton a former Teaching fellow in the Department, is currently  completing his work for the Ph.D. Mrs. Finton is Administrative assistant in the Humanities Department of the University of Michigan Engineering College.
1974-77 - Mr. and Mrs. Walter Zubryckyj. Marianne is currently  teaching high school at Dexter, Michigan.
1977-78 - Mara Wade is currently  associate professor of German at the University of Illinois.
1978-79 - Mr. Richard Plewa, Teaching fellow in the German Department, at present  director of one of the homes in the Oxford complex and doing graduate work in Business Administration.
1979-80 - Ms. Joyce Tousey, former member of our J.Y.A. in Freiburg, currently  graduate student in linguistics.
1980-81 - Ann Adams, who was an Assistant Professor of German at Morehouse College before moving to the Program in African-American Studies at Cornell University.
1985-87 - Klaus Tappe
1988-89 - Charlotte Droll
1990-91 - Claudia Obermueller
1991-94 - Hartmut Rastalsky, who received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and is now our Language Program Director.
1994-95 - Robert Martin
1995-96 - Jessica Stauffer
1996-97 - Frank Cassel
1997-98 - James Gies
1998-2000 - Dan Richards
2000-2002 - Ilka Rasch, Ph.D. ('07) and Vera Irwin (Eremeeva), Ph.D. ('09). Both were current graduate students in German.
2002-2006 Stacy Swennes, currently a lecturer in German, and the German Day Coordinator.
2007-2008 Patrick Davis ('09) and Beth Frysinger ('09), Max Kade's first undergraduate Cooperative Head Residents.
2009-2010 Daniel N. Hefflebower
2010-2011 Teresa Kilmer
2011-2012 Lydia McMullen-Laird
2012-2013 Alexandra Kalinowski
An MLC [Michigan Learning Community] combines the personal attention of a small college environment with the unparalleled resources of a large research university. Be a part of a friendly, supportive, and intellectually stimulating community while you take advantage of everything the larger Michigan campus has to offer. Read more about MLC here: www.lsa.umich.edu/mlc/
Fourteen residence halls and apartments on the campus of the University of Michigan provide housing for undergraduate students. Students from over 90 countries make up 7 percent of the population of these halls. The following link provides information for international students seeking housing at U-M.
You will receive instructions on how to access your online Housing application when the enrollment deposit has been paid or has been officially waived by the Admissions Office. However, if you are interested in being a Max Kade resident, please complete our application [Word Application] [PDF Application] and return it to Jennifer White, email@example.com. Go to the U-M Housing website for further information by clicking on the link below.
George J. Valenta, Jr. a University of Michigan alumnus (1955 BA in German, Minors in French and Russian) has graciously established a scholarship to benefit German Concentrators who live in the Max Kade German Residence, and who place a strong academic emphasis on German Studies. The scholarship consists of a financial award of $1,000 for the academic year. All German Majors who will live in the Max Kade German Residence during the Academic Year are eligible to apply.
Applicants must submit the following materials:
- Personal statement (in English) describing why the student deems her/himself a good candidate
- A resume (in English) highlighting past experiences or encounters with German and Germany (classes, work experience, etc.)
- Copy of Academic transcript (unofficial U-M transcript)
All materials must be submitted by the last Friday in October to:
Student Coordinator, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, 3109 MLB.
The recipient of the award will be notified by late November.
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