Home > Exhibits & Events > Fort Collins 2015
Celebrating 250 Years of
Volga German Heritage

14 November 2015
Fort Collins, Colorado

Concordia University Bell Tower on the Campus Green
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the first German colonies along the Volga River in Russia, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University is hosting a seminar series on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado! These seminars will feature the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the colony of Balzer.
      The public is invited to attend.

Early Registration: $40 per person if you register before November 7.
Regular Registration: $50 per person for registration received after November 7 or at the door.

To register & pay by credit card, call Tanya at 503.493.6369.
If you prefer to pay by check, print the Registration Form, and mail it along with your check. To qualify for the Early Registration rate, payment must be received by November 7.


CSU Lory Student Center
Lory Student Center
Registration and all sessions will be in the Long's Peak Room of the newly renovated Lory Student Center on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado (Campus Map).
      Physical address for GPS:
            599 South Drive
            Fort Collins, CO 80521

Parking: Please use Lot 310 (Parking Map).
Parking is free on the weekend.


      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 side is Volga German, grew up in Western Kansas, graduated from Bethany College in Lindsborg, and continued graduate studies at George Washington University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Vanderbilt University.
Brent Mai
Brent Mai
Schedule for the Day
8:30 - 9:00 Registration & Visiting
9:00 - 10:00 Session 1: Introduction to the Volga Germans and their Heritage
Everyone starts on a different page when it comes to their knowledge of who the Volga Germans are and how their culture has developed. This session will bring all attendees to the same place in that understanding - and we'll carry on from there.
10:15 - 11:00 Session 2: The History of the Colony of Balzer
Balzer was founded on 28 August 1765 and this year marks the 250th Anniversary of its establishment. We'll explore the history of Balzer and its people.
11:15 - Noon Session 3: The Geography of the Volga Germans
The treck of the Volga Germans around the world creates an interesting study in geographic adaptability. We'll study that journey as well as the changing topography of the Volga Region itself.
Noon - 1:30 Lunch
Lunch will be on your own. There are dining opportunities in the Lory Student Center as well as nearby restaurants where you can obtain nourishment that will sustain you through the afternoon. This is also a good time to meet fellow seminar attendees and share personal stories.
1:30 - 2:15 Session 4: Genealogy Resources for the Volga Germans
In this session, you'll get an overview of the basic genealogical resources for Volga German researchers and how they work together to begin building your family tree.
2:30 - 3:15 Session 5: A Day-in-the-Life of the Volga Germans
What was it like to live in the Volga German colonies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? How did daily life change over time? In this session, we'll explore what daily colony life was like for your ancestors.
3:30 - 4:30 Session 6: The Deportation of the Volga Germans in 1941
Shortly after Hitler invaded Russia in 1941, Stalin had all the Volga Germans deported to Siberia. We'll take a first hand look at how the 177-year-long geographic history of the Volga Germans came so abruptly to an end in September 1941.
4:45 - 5:30 Session 7: The Volga Germans Today
In the final session of the day, we'll take a look at today's descendants of the Volga Germans. How many are there? Where are they? How did they get there? Is there still evidence of Volga German culture out there today? These and other questions will be discussed as we bring the contemporary history of Volga Germans to life.
Hotels near Colorado State University
Hilton Fort Collins
425 W. Prospect Rd.
Telephone: 970.482.2626
Hilton room rate discount of $119 for November 12 - 15. Call 970.482.2626 and ask for the "Volga German Studies Rate" (Group Code MVG) by 5:00 p.m. on 30 October 2015. Follow this link to book online. Regular hotel rate will be available after October 30.

Fort Collins Marriott
350 E. Horsetooth Rd.
Telephone: 970.226.5200

Quality Inn & Suites
4001 S. Mason St.
Telephone: 970.282.9047

Best Western University Inn
914 S. College Ave.
Telephone: 970.484.2984

Last updated 6 November 2015.