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June 6, 1996

Bruhns sets up Nationality Rooms endowment

After spending over three decades running the Cathedral of Learning's crown jewel, the Nationality Rooms, Maxine Bruhns is giving even more than her time: She's giving her money. Bruhns and her husband, Fred, a University emeritus professor, are funding an endowment for the Nationality Rooms to be used for three different categories. They are:

*The Fred C. and E. Maxine Bruhns endowment for temporary expenses relative to the Nationality Rooms program operation.

*The E. Maxine Bruhns maintenance room endowment for special maintenance needs for the Nationality Rooms.

*The Fred C. and E. Maxine Bruhns scholarship to bring a scholar from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East or Asia to Pitt for one term of study or research. Bruhns says the passion she and her husband have for the Nationality Rooms comes from years of living in other countries, such as Cambodia and Vietnam.

"We never really settled down," recalls Bruhns about her pre-Pittsburgh days. "But when we moved here, we realized all the parts [we had abroad] are right here in Pittsburgh." The couple moved here in the early 1960s. Maxine Bruhns has been director of the Nationality Rooms and the intercultural exchange programs since 1965. Fred Bruhns taught public administration at the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs for over 25 years. "I see the Nationality Rooms as an integral part of not just the University, but the city," Maxine Bruhns says. "They are valuable symbols that must be preserved."

–Mark Gordon

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