PORTLAND, Oregon — Responding the 1763 invitation of Catherine the Great for Western Europeans to move to the Russian Empire, more than 30,000 immigrants (mostly Germans) made the trek to the Russian Steppe between 1764 and 1772. Of significance to those whose descendants settled the western Kansas prairie 110 years later, nine Roman Catholic colonies were founded along the Volga River in 1766: Degott (July 18), Graf (June 10), Herzog (July 14), Katharinenstadt (June 27), Louis (June 14), Mariental (June 16), Rohleder (June 14), Schuck (July 18), and Volmer (July 18).
To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the establishment of these nine colonies, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University is hosting an all-day seminar series at the Rose Garden Banquet Hall in Hays on Saturday, June 4. Registration before May 27 is $30 per person; registration after that is $40 per person. Registration includes an authentic Volga German luncheon and all sessions. The public is invited to attend.
Dr. Brent Mai, director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, will be the speaker for the day. He has spoken world-wide on many topics related to Volga German history and culture. Dr. Mai, whose father’s ancestors emigrated from the German colonies along the Volga River, grew up in Western Kansas and holds degrees from Bethany College (Kansas), George Washington University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Vanderbilt University. He has served as the CVGS Director since the Center was founded in 2004.
Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the first of seven seminar sessions beginning at 9: Introduction to the Volga Germans and their Heritage; The Geography of the Volga Germans; A 250th Anniversary Celebration; The Volga Germans of South America; A Day-in-the-Life of the Volga Germans; Deportation of the Volga Germans in 1941; and The Volga Germans Today. The day will conclude at 5:30 p.m.
For additional information about the event including parking, accommodations, and sponsorship opportunities, visit the event website at: cvgs.cu-portland.edu/events/2016Jun4.cfm.
To register at the early registration rate of $30, visit cu-portland.edu/cvgs-event-registration or call Tanya at 503.493.6369.