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Max Kade Foundation Supports Renovation of the “Neue Universität”

Press Release No. 62/2011
11 March 2011
$600,000 for the modernisation of the grand foyer in Heidelberg University’s main lecture hall building

The Max Kade Foundation (New York) is supporting the renovation of the “Neue Universität”, Heidelberg University’s main lecture hall building, with a donation of $600,000. The amount will be used to modernise the building’s grand foyer. Thanks to the Foundation’s generous donation, the hall will no longer be a mere entrance area leading to the main auditorium and the lecture halls but will be transformed into an event space for concerts, seminars, and public lectures. At the same time, it will function as a meeting area where students and faculty can gather.

The renovation of the “Neue Universität” is one of the university’s key initiatives in celebration of its 625th anniversary in 2011. The Max Kade Foundation decided to fund this project in recognition of the strong ties between Heidelberg University and the United States. “We are proud to support a central and vital part of the academic life of Heidelberg University and to ensure the best possible learning environment for current and future generations of students,” says Lya Friedrich Pfeifer, president of the Max Kade Foundation.

Born in Steinbach near Schwäbisch Hall in 1882, Max Kade emigrated to North America in 1904. In the 1920s he and his wife Annette began to support philanthropic and social causes. In 1944, they founded the Max Kade Foundation in New York. One of the Foundation’s primary goals involves the promotion of cultural relations between Germany and the United States. On the 30th of May 1963, Heidelberg University awarded Max Kade the title of Honorary Senator. The close ties between the Max Kade Foundation and the university are also symbolised by the two international student houses supported by the Foundation. In 1964, Max Kade Student Hall was opened, the International Max Kade House opened in October 2003.

The renovation of the “Neue Universität” is the centrepiece of the “Dem lebendigen Geist” initiative, so named for the inscription above the building’s portal. On the occasion of the 625th anniversary, friends, sponsors and alumni of Heidelberg University are engaged in a wide range of activities to raise most of the funding for the renovation project. The successful campaign continues the tradition of the fundraising efforts of former U.S. Ambassador Jacob Gould Schurman, who, in 1928, raised the funds among American donors for the construction of the “Neue Universität”.


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