Exhibits and Events >
Current & Upcoming Exhibits and Events
Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of DÖnhof & Messer
23 July 2016
Fort Collins, Colorado
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia will be hosting a seminar series to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the colonies of Dönhof and Messer in Fort Collins, Colorado, on 23 July 2016.
      The public is invited to attend.
      For information regarding registration, location, seminar schedule, and hotels, check out the Seminar Website.
Celebrating 250 Years of Volga German History
24 September 2016
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
      On 24 September 2016, the Center for Volga German Studies is hosting a Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the German colonies along Russia's Volga River that will feature the colonies of Reinwald, Schäfer, Schulz, Krasnoyar, and Enders.
      The public is invited to attend.
      Details are still being worked out for this event. What has been determined to-date regarding the location, registration, scheduled events, and hotels has been posted to the the Seminar Website.
Conference on Moravian Music & History
27-30 October 2016
Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
      In honor of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the colony of Sarepta, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia will be hosting an paper series in conjunction with the Conference on Moravian Music & History being held at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
      The public is invited to attend. Information about the conference including a "Call for Papers" can be found on the Conference Website.
Grand Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of the Volga German Colonies
16-18 June 2017 (tentative)
Concordia University
Portland, Oregon
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia will be hosting an conference to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of founding of the Volga German colonies.
      The public is invited to attend.
      Details forthcoming.

Past Exhibits & Events

 
A 250th Celebration
4 June 2016
Hays, Kansas
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the nine Roman Catholic colonies founded in 1766 (Degott, Graf, Herzog, Katharinenstadt, Louis, Mariental, Rohleder, Schuck, and Volmer), the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University is hosting an seminar series and authentic Volga German lunch in Hays, Kansas, on Saturday, 4 June 2016.
      The public is invited to attend.
      For information regarding registration, location, seminar schedule, and hotels, check out the Seminar Website.
A Grand 250th Anniversary Get-Together
27-29 April 2016
Leavenworth, Washington
      To celebrate the Sesquicentennial Anniversary (1766-2016) of "Yagada" Volga German Families Migration from Germany to Russia, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University is hosting a conference in Leavenworth, Washington! The founding families of the colony of Yagodnaya-Polyana ("Yagada") left Germany late in the summer of 1766, headed for an unknown future on the steppes of Russia. What a journey! Featured presenter will be Dr. Richard Scheuerman of Seattle Pacific University who, among other things, will host an interview with HRH Tzarina Catherine the Great herself!
      The public is invited to attend.
      Additional details about registration, cost, speakers, schedule, location, meals, etc., are available on the Leavenworth Event page.
Volga German Seminar Series
12 March 2016
Boise, Idaho
      As part of the 2016 Seminar Series Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the Volga German colonies, a seminar was presented in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday, 12 March 2016. For information about this event, check out the Seminar Website.
Two-Day Volga German Genealogy Workshops
6-7 February 2016 in Austin, Texas
27-28 February 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a couple of two-day workshops focusing on Volga German genealogy. One was held at the historic Neill-Cochran House in Austin, Texas, February 6-7. The second was held at the Old Town Courtyard in Scottsdale, Arizona, February 27-28.
      For information regarding these workshops, consult their respective websites: (1) Austin, Texas - (2) Scottsdale, Arizona.
Volga German Presentation in Anaheim
30 January 2016
Anaheim, California
      Dr. Brent Mai, director of the Center for Volga German Studies, was invited to speak at the January Meeting of the AHSGR/GRHS Southern California Chapter in Anaheim, California. He spoke on the topic of "A Day-in-the-Life of the Volga Germans."
Volga German Seminar Series
5 December 2015
Minneapolis, Minnesota
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a Volga German Seminar Series at the Minneapolis Central Library on Saturday, 5 December 2015. Sam Brungardt presentation on Volga German foodways was a special feature of this event!
      For information about this CVGS seminar, please visit the Seminar Website.
Celebrating the Volga Germans of Fresno
21 November 2015
Fresno, California
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia hosted a seminar series in Fresno, California, on Saturday, 21 November 2015. For information about the seminar sessions held there, check out the Seminar Website.
Celebrating the Founding of Balzer
14 November 2015
Fort Collins, Colorado
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Balzer, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a seminar series on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. For information about this event, check out the Seminar Website.
Russiatown Historical Marker Dedication in Walla Walla
23-24 October 2015
Walla Walla, Washington
      The Walla Walla 2020 Project dedicated an historical marker in the Volga German neighborhood of Walla Walla, Washington, on Friday, October 23. On Saturday, October 24, a series of programs discussing the history of the Volga Germans in the area followed on Saturday. Speakers included Dr. Richard Scheuerman (Spanaway, WA), Dr. Brent Mai (Beaverton, OR), Jean Roth (Seattle, WA), Michael Frank (Vancouver, WA), and Larry Frank (Walla Walla, WA).
      For additional information about this event, please visit the Walla Walla 2020 site.
CVGS Update
18 October 2015, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
2800 NE Liberty St., Suite 300
Portland, Oregon
      Dr. Brent Mai provided an update of CVGS activities and plans to the monthly meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.
      For additional information about this program, please visit the Oregon Chapter's Website.
Volga German Settlements in Siberia
24-26 September 2015
Accra, Ghana (West Africa)
      Dr. Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, along with Drs. Eric Schmaltz and Otto Pohl, both of whom serve on the CVGS Board of Academic Advisors, presented at the Asian Studies in Africa Conference held at the University of Ghana in Legon. The presentations involved the settlement of Volga Germans in Siberia, the Germans from Russia in Kyrgystan, and the attempts to establish a German Russian autonomous region in Kazakhstan. Additional information is available on the Conference Website.
Deutschesfest in Odessa, Washington
Friday-Sunday, 18-20 September 2015
Odessa, Washington
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a series of programs in conjunction with the Deutsychesfest being held in Odessa, Washington, 18-20 September 2015.
      For additional information, please visit the CVGS Deutschesfest Website.
Celebrating the founding of Franzosen
13 September 2015
Mason City, Iowa
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Franzosen, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a seminar series in Mason City, Iowa, at the Historic Park Inn Hotel built by Frank Lloyd Wright.
      For additional information, please visit the Conference Website.
2015 Norka Founders' Day
Saturday, 8 August 2015
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
      The Volga German colony of Norka was founded on 15 August 1767, and for many years Norka's descendants celebrated the founding anniversary. It was called "Herrkommstag." This annual tradition was re-established in 2013 and the 2015 celebration took place in Edmonton, Alberta. A tour of nearby Stony Plain where many Norka families settled was included in the event. For details about the event, please visit the Conference Website.
Celebrating the founding of Kamenka & Husaren
19 July 2015
Hays, Kansas
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Kamenka & Husaren, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a banquet and series of programs in Hays, Kansas.
      For additional information, visit the Conference Website.
Celebrating the founding of Holstein
18 July 2015
Russell, Kansas
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Holstein, the Reinhardt Mai family and the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted an ALL MAI FAMILY REUNION in Russell, Kansas.
      For additional information, visit the Conference Website.
Celebrating the founding of Fischer, Enders, Rosenheim, & Schwed
12-13 July 2015
Frankenmuth, Michigan
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Fischer, Enders, Rosenheim, & Schwed, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a 2-day conference in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
      For additional information, visit the Conference Website.
Celebrating the founding of Shcherbakovka
19 June 2015
Lindsborg, Kansas
      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the founding of Shcherbakovka, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a conference at the Sundstrom Conference Center in Lindsborg, Kansas. Information about the conference is available on the Conference Website.
Celebrating 250 Years of Volga German Heritage
29 April - 1 May 2015
Leavenworth, Washington
      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 held a conference in Leavenworth, Washington. Please visit the Conference Website to review the exciting series of sessions and events of this conference.
Presentation by The Rev. Alexander Schierman
10 November 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Center for Volga German Studies, Concordia University, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon
      As part of its celebration of 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 hosted a presentation by The Rev. Alexander Scheiermann, pastor of the Lutheran Church in Saratov, Russia. Scheiermann's ancestors immigrated to the Volga German colony of Yagodnaya-Polyana in the 1760s.
      Pastor Scheiermann was born in 1971 and raised in the Omsk Region of Siberia. His family immigrated to Germany following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today, he and his wife reside in Saratov, Russia, where they are serving as missionaries. He serves as a District Supervisor over seven churches. He shared his experiences growing up under the thumb of Communism, how faith triumphed, and how God called him to ministry in Saratov. Scheiermann was accompanied by Pastor Don Richman, Founding Director of the East European Missions Network.
      Pastor Scheiermann was also the guest speaker at Concordia's Chapel Service the following morning, Tuesday, 11 November 2014 at 10:30 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center on the university campus.
Celebrating 250 Years of Volga German Heritage
8 November 2014
Concordia University - Chicago, Koehneke Community Center, River Forest, Illinois
      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 hosted a Conference Website in River Forest, Illinois!
Introduction to Researching the Volga Germans
Saturday, 18 October 2014
PAPAFUG Genealogy Group, 1271 Overlook Dr., Lake Oswego, Oregon
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a workshop introducing the Volga Germans and available genealogical resources to the members of the PAPAFUG Genealogy Group.
Conference #4: Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of the First Volga German Colonies in 1764
Saturday, 4 October 2014
Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, California
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a conference at Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, California, in celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the first Volga German Colonies. For additional information, visit the Conference Website.
Oktoberfest in Hays, Kansas
Friday, 10 October 2014
Hays, Kansas
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted an evening programs in conjunction with the Oktoberfest being held in Hays, Kansas, on 10 October 2014. For details, visit the CVGS Hays Oktoberfest Website.
Deutschesfest in Odessa, Washington
Friday-Sunday, 19-21 September 2014
Odessa, Washington
      The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a series of programs in conjunction with the Deutschesfest in Odessa, Washington. For details, visit the CVGS Deutschesfest Website.
Presentation: Retrieving Documents from Russian Archives
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Center for Volga German Studies (Suite 300), 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon
      Many Volga Germans have used the services of Dr. Mila Koretnikov of Rastadt, Germany, to obtain documents from the archives in Russia. Dr. Koretnikov spoke about the process used to obtain documents and will share some of her success stories.
2014 Norka Founders' Day
Saturday, 16 August 2014
Concordia University, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon
      The Volga German colony of Norka was founded on 15 August 1767, and for many years Norka's descendants celebrated the founding anniversary. It was called "Herrkommstag." 2014 marked the second contemporary celebration of Norka Founders' Day with a variety of speakers from Oregon and Washington (Norka Founders' Day Website).
Conference #2: Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of the First Volga German Colonies in 1764
Saturday, 2 August 2014
Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas
      To mark the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the first five German colonies along the Volga River in Russia (Anton, Beideck, Dobrinka, Galka, and Schilling), the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a conference on the campus of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.
      For additional information, visit the Conference Website.
Presentation: The History of the Volga Germans
Thursday, 7 August 2014
Wallace Co. Senior Center, 223 N. Main St., Sharon Springs, Kansas
      In honor of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the first German colonies along the Volga River in Russia in 1764, Dr. Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, spoke about the history of the Volga Germans and their immigration to North America. The descendants of many Volga German families settled in Western Kansas.
Conference #3: Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of the First Volga German Colonies in 1764
Saturday, 9 August 2014
Denver Lutheran High School, 11249 Newlin Gulch Blvd., Parker, Colorado
      In honor of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the first five German colonies along the Volga River in Russia, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a conference at Denver Lutheran High School in Parker, Colorado in celebration of these anniversaries! This conference will include sessions on each of these colonies, but Beideck will receive specific focus because of the number of Beideck descendants in the Denver area, Colorado, and surrounding states.
      For additional information visit the Conference Website.
Volga German Sessions at the GRHS Annual Convention
24-26 July 2014
Davenport Hotel, 10 S. Post St., Spokane, Washington
      The Center for Volga German Studies sponsored five programs at the 44th Annual Convention of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) held in Spokane, Washington. The topics of these sessions were: Heritage Grains of the Volga Germans; History of the Volga German Communities of Eastern Washington's Palouse Country; Volga German History of Walla Walla; Volga German Religious Architecture on the Steppe; and Dobrinka at 250: The Founding of the First Volga German Colony.
The Volga Germans at 250
Wednesday, 16 July 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Ave., Menlo Park, California
      Dr. Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies, explored the topic of the Volga Germans and their first 250 years.
Conference #1: Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of the First Volga German Colonies in 1764
Friday & Saturday, 27-28 June 2014
Portland, Oregon
      Dobrinka, the first Volga German colony, was founded on 29 June 1764. The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University hosted a 2-day conference with 27 sessions presented by speakers from Oregon, Washington, and Argentina. Attendees came from Virginia, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Argentina. For additional information, visit the Conference Website.
Presentation: Faith Through Architecture - The Volga German Churches on the Steppe

Saturday, 26 October 2013
AHSGR Kansas Round-Up of Chapters, Hays, Kansas
      Faith was such an important part of life in 18th Century Europe that Catherine the Great's 1763 Manifesto which enticed the Germans to move to Russia specifically guaranteed the immigrants' right to unhindered freedom of religious worship in accordance with their church dogmas and practices. Furthermore, it granted them permission to build churches and campaniles (bell towers). Prof. Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies, shared hundreds of photographs of the amazing craftsmanship that went into construction of these magnificent structures, inside and out, and discussed the religious architectural heritage of the Volga Germans.
Photo Exhibition: Mandan - Life in the North

August 15 - September 27, 2013
Concordia University, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

      As part of its year-long celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Catherine the Great's Manifesto inviting the Germans to Russia, the Center for Volga German Studies is hosting a photo exhibition: Magadan: Life in the North.
      For additional information about the photo exhibition, visit the Magadan page.
 
Deutschesfest: Reconnecting with your Ancestors

Friday-Sunday, 20-22 September 2013
St. Matthew's Congregational Church, Alder St. & 4th Ave., Odessa, Washington

      In September each year, the residents of Odessa, Washington, celebrate the German heritage of their ancestors during Deutschesfest. This year, the Center for Volga German Studies joined the Big Bend Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia to host drop-in genealogy workshops at the historic St. Matthew's Congregational Church. Noted genealogist, Doris Evans, and Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, assisted those who are searching for information about their Volga German ancestors.
 
Magadan: Life for an Alaskan in the Soviet Far North East

Sunday, 22 September 2013, 2:00 p.m.
Concordia University, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

      Dr. Lawrence Khlinovski-Rockhill presented Magadan: Life for an Alaskan in the Soviet Far North East. Dr. Khlinovski-Rockhill initiated the first exchange program between the University of Alaska and Magadan Pedagogical Institute, now North Eastern State University, and taught there from 1989 to 1991, the last two years of the Soviet Union's existence.
      Magadan is infamous for the gulags (forced labor camps) that were in the area during the Soviet era. Once a closed city, Dr. Khlinovski-Rockhill was the first American to live and teach there.
      For additional information about the presentation and accompanying photo exhibition, visit the Magadan page.
 
Presentation by Tanja Schell

Saturday, 14 September 2013, Noon
Concordia University, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

      As part of its year-long celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Catherine the Great's Manifesto inviting the Germans to Russia, the Center for Volga German Studies joined the Oregon Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia to host a presentation by Tanja Schell. Tanja grew up in Siberia. Her ancestors had been deported there in 1941 from the Volga German colony of Sewald following Hitler's invasion of Russia. She and her family moved to Germany right after she completed high school. In 2010, she graduated with a Master's degree in English from the Ludwigs-Maximilians-University in Munich, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of North Dakota where she teaches English composition classes.
      Tanja is a frequent international traveler and recently returned from another trip to the area of the former Volga Colonies. She is in constant contact with her friends and family who remain in Russia and Germany. Tanja's presentation will include photos of this most recent trip as well as a discussion of the current situation facing Volga Germans who remain in Russia and those who have immigrated to Germany in recent years.
 
Magadan: Life for an Alaskan in the Soviet Far North East

Saturday, 17 August 2013, 2:00 p.m.
Concordia University, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

      Dr. Lawrence Khlinovski-Rockhill presented Magadan: Life for an Alaskan in the Soviet Far North East. Dr. Khlinovski-Rockhill initiated the first exchange program between the University of Alaska and Magadan Pedagogical Institute, now North Eastern State University, and taught there from 1989 to 1991, the last two years of the Soviet Union's existance.
      For additional information about the presentation and accompanying photo exhibition, visit the Magadan page.
 
Norka Founders' Day

Saturday, 17 August 2013
Concordia University, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

The Center for Volga German Studies hosted the first Norka Founders' Day as part of its year-long celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Catherine the Great's Manifesto inviting the Germans to Russia in 1763. Almost 150 attendees enjoyed a day full of speakers including: Steve Schreiber (Portland, Oregon), Marianna Webber (Calgary, Alberta), Reuben Miller (Stony Point, Alberta), Brent Mai (Beaverton, Oregon), Kurt Goldenstein (Eugene, Oregon), Jerry Schleining (Gresham, Oregon), and Ruth Werner (Portland, Oregon). Additional information is available on the Norka Founders' Day page.

 
Mini-Conference: The 250th Anniversary of Catherine's Manifesto

Wednesday-Friday, 24-26 April 2013
Best Western Icicle Inn - Highway 2, Leavenworth, Washington

The Center for Volga German Studies presented a 3-day Mini-Conference in Leavenworth, Washington, as part of its year-long celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Catherine the Great's Manifesto inviting the Germans to Russia in 1763. Speakers included: Brent Mai (Beaverton, Oregon), Dr. Richard Scheuerman (Spanaway, Washington), and Jean Roth (Seattle, Washington).

 
Presentation: "The Volga Germans of Oregon"

Tuesday, 16 April 2013, 1:00 p.m.
Willamette University, Salem, Oregon

Steve Schreiber gave a presentation on the Volga Germans to participants in Willamette University's German Exchange Program. Volga German immigrants began arriving in Portland in 1881 and by 1920 occupied an entire ward in northeast Portland. Steve presented the documentary he created on this topic and led a discussion of the Volga German contribution to Oregon's history.

 
Presentation: "Catherine the Great and Her Manifesto"

Sunday, 24 March 2013, 2:00 p.m.
Bethany Lutheran Church (Basement), 4330 NE 37th (at Skidmore), Portland, Oregon

Professor Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies, spoke at a meeting of the GRHS Chapter of Germans from Russia in Oregon & Washington (GROW) about Catherine the Great who invited her native German countrymen to immigrate to Russia in 1763. She issued her first invitation shortly after she took power in 1763, and by 1772 over 30,000 responded to the call! She was a remarkable world leader, especially considering that it was a male-dominated world at that time! Far from ordinary, Catherine lived life to its fullest. Prof. Mai examined both her public and her private rule of Russia in the 18th Century.

 
Presentation: Volga Germans in Argentina

Saturday, 5 January 2013
Center for Volga German Studies, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

The Center for Volga German Studies presented a day of programs on the history, architecture, music, food customs, and genealogy of the Volga Germans in Argentina. Speakers included: Fabian Zubia Schultheis (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Germán Sack (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Susan Hopp Nakaji (Saratoga, California); and Brent Mai (Beaverton, Oregon).

 
Presentation: "The Volga German Settlements in North America"

Saturday, November 17, 2012, 3:00 p.m.
Building 8, Room 501, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

Sponsored by the Russian Studies Institute at Waseda University, CVGS Director Brent Mai presented a lecture on the Volga Germans and their settlements in North America.

 
Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Coronation of Catherine the Great of Russia

Sunday, October 21, 2012, 1:00 p.m.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 7307 N. Nevada St., Spokane, Washington

To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the coronation of Catherine the Great, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Spokane hosted a lecture by Prof. Brent Mai, CVGS Director. At the invitation of Catherine the Great, 30,000 Germans settled along Russia's Volga River during the 1760s. Prof. Mai discussed her role in the establishment of these colonies and the unique culture that developed there over the following 150 years. The descendants of these Volga German pioneers first arrived in North American in 1874, and many settled in Eastern Washington's Palouse Country beginning in 1882.

 
Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Coronation of Catherine the Great of Russia

Saturday, October 6, 2012
Center for Volga German Studies, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the coronation of Catherine the Great on 12 September 1762, the CVGS is holding a day-long series of workshops and presentations. At 9am, Brent Mai will present an introduction to the Volga Germans and Volga German research. At 10:30, Joanne Krieger will discuss what have come to be called "Plehve Charts." At noon (along with your lunch), Jean Roth will give a talk on Catherine the Great. At 2pm, Doris Evans will demonstrate how documents from the colony of Kolb have been used to "connect the dots" for researchers. The CVGS will be open from 8am - 6pm with expert researchers available to help with individual questions. There will also be extended hours on Thursday evening (6pm-9pm) for those who come to Portland the night before.

 
Presentation: "Catherine and Her Germans"

Saturday, September 29, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
Concordia University - Chicago, River Forest, Illinois

At the invitation of Catherine the Great, over 30,000 Germans settled along Russia's Volga River during the 1760s. Prof. Brent Mai, CVGS Director, spoke about her role in the establishment of these colonies and the unique culture that developed there over the next 150 years. The descendants of these Volga German pioneers first arrived in North America in 1874, and many settled in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood. By 1920, the Chicago area was home to America's largest urban concentration of Volga Germans.

 
2012 GRHS Annual Convention

Saturday, July 21, 2012
Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Bismarck, North Dakota

Brent Mai, CVGS Director, made two presentations at the 2012 Annual Convention of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society. The first was an introduction to Volga German history. The second dealt with the history of the Volga Relief Society.

 
2012 AHSGR Annual Convention

Thursday-Sunday, June 14-17, 2012
Concordia University, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

The 2012 Annual Convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia was hosted on the Concordia University Campus by the Oregon Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia and the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University. Additional information about the sessions that were held during the Convention can be found at the Convention Website.

 
Presentation: "Volga German Churches : Expressing Faith Through Architecture"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Bethany Lutheran Church, 1095 Cloud Avenue, Menlo Park, California

Faith was such an important part of life in 18th Century Europe that Catherine the Great's 1763 Manifesto which enticed the Germans to move to Russia specifically guaranteed the immigrants' right to unhindered freedom of religious worship in accordance with their church dogmas and practices. Furthermore, it granted them permission to build churches and campaniles (bell towers). Prof. Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies, shared dozens of photographs of the amazing craftsmanship that went into construction of these magnificent structures, inside and out, and discussed the religious architectural heritage of the Volga Germans.

 
Presentation: "Volga German Churches : Expressing Faith Through Architecture"

Saturday, May 5, 2012, Noon
Faith Lutheran Church, 8208 18th Ave. NE, Seattle, Washington

Faith was such an important part of life in 18th Century Europe that Catherine the Great's 1763 Manifesto which enticed the Germans to move to Russia specifically guaranteed the immigrants' right to unhindered freedom of religious worship in accordance with their church dogmas and practices. Furthermore, it granted them permission to build churches and campaniles (bell towers). Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies, shared dozens of photographs of the amazing craftsmanship that went into construction of these magnificent structures, inside and out, and discussed the religious architectural heritage of the Volga Germans.

 
Presentation: "Volga German Churches : Expressing Faith Through Architecture"

Saturday, May 19, 2012, Noon
Phoenix Club, 1340 S. Sanderson Ave., Anaheim, California

Faith was such an important part of life in 18th Century Europe that Catherine the Great's 1763 Manifesto which enticed the Germans to move to Russia specifically guaranteed the immigrants' right to unhindered freedom of religious worship in accordance with their church dogmas and practices. Furthermore, it granted them permission to build churches and campaniles (bell towers). Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies, will share dozens of photographs of the amazing craftsmanship that went into construction of these magnificent structures, inside and out, and discuss the religious architectural heritage of the Volga Germans. Lunch at noon will be followed by the presentation at 1:30. Public is invited to attend; reservations required by May 11 - contact Velda Davis at 661.946.5575.

 
Presentation: "Volga German Churches : Expressing Faith Through Architecture"

Saturday, April 21, 2012, 1:00 p.m.
Center for Volga German Studies, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

As part of the semi-annual gathering of the Council of Northwest Chapters of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, will present information regarding the architecture and history of the Protestant and Catholic parishes that existed among the Volga German colonies from 1764-1941. A potluck will precede the presentation at 12 Noon. All are invited to attend!

 
Defining German Culture Through the Eyes of the Volga Germans

Saturday, November 5, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, 8235 Northeast Airport Way, Portland, Oregon

CVGS Director, Brent Mai, will be the keynote speaker at the German-American Heritage Day Ball sponsored by the German American Society of Portland. The dinner will be followed by a dance with music by the S-Bahn Band of Vancouver, B.C. Cost: $40.00. For additional information contact the German American Society.

 
The Volga Germans of the Pacific Northwest

Saturday, October 22, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 7307 N. Nevada Street, Spokane, Washington

The Center for Volga German Studies is sponsoring a day-long program that includes two presentations, genealogical research assistance, and a traditional German lunch. Brent Mai, CVGS Director, will make two presentations: At 10:00 a.m. "Who Are the Volga Germans" and at 1:00 p.m. "Expressing Faith through Architecture: German Churches along the Russian Volga." In addition to Brent, Doris Evans of Almira, Washington, will be available to answer questions about your Volga German ancestry and research materials will be available. All are invited to attend! Cost: $8.00 (for lunch). Please RSVP to Linda Church at 503.493.6370 or lchurch@cu-portland.edu.

 
Two Day Event : Volga German Research and Reformation

Saturday, October 29, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Center for Volga German Studies, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

Sunday, October 30, 2011, 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 4265 SW Golf Course Rd., Cornelius, Oregon

On Saturday, October 29th, expert researchers will be available all day in the Center for Volga German Studies for genealogical research assistance. On Sunday, October 30th, at 10:30 a.m. you're invited to join Oregon's oldest Volga German congregation (founded in 1882) for worship followed by an afternoon of traditional German food and fellowship. Brent Mai, CVGS Director, will be the key-note speaker during the afternoon Oktoberfest Celebration and will talk about Oregon's oldest Volga German community in Blooming (just south of Cornelius). For additional information, contact Linda Church at 503.493.6370 or lchurch@cu-portland.edu.

 
Presentation: "The Volga German History of Northeast Portland's Albina Neighborhood"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Ave., Portland, Oregon

Steven Schreiber, CVGS volunteer and webmaster, will present a one-hour documentary chronicling the story of the German Russian immigrants who made northeast Portland their home in the new world. Cost for Heritage Center members is $10 and nonmembers is $15. Seating is limited and Preregistration is strongly suggested.

 
Volga German Day at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon

Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Genealogical Forum of Oregon, 2505 SE 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon

In celebration of the Forum's move to its new facilities, the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University is putting on a Volga German Day. From 9-10am, the 2003 documentary entitled "From the Russian Steppe to the Pacific Northwest" will be shown. It was produced by Portland's own Steve Schreiber. From 10-11am, Brent Mai, CVGS Director, will present information about this group of ethnic Germans who settled along the banks of the Volga River near Saratov, Russia, and ultimately immigrated to Oregon beginning in 1881. From 11-Noon, Brent will lead a discussion about the primary resources available to Volga German genealogical researchers. For the remainder of the day, trained researchers will be available to assist with individual research. Cost: free. All are invited to attend!

 
Presentation: "Architecture and History of Protestant and Catholic Parishes in the Volga German Colonies, 1764-1941"

Saturday, September 17, 2011, 1:00 p.m.
Germanfest Building, 8229 W. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Chapter of AHSGR will present Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, speaking about the architecture and history of the Protestant and Catholic parishes that existed among the Volga German colonies from 1764-1941. All are invited to attend! For additional information: 414.464.9444.

 
Presentation: "Architecture and History of Protestant and Catholic Parishes in the Volga German Colonies, 1764-1941"

Saturday, September 17, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1025 W. Lake Street, Melrose Park, Illinois

The Northern Illinois Chapter of AHSGR will present Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, speaking about the architecture and history of the Protestant and Catholic parishes that existed among the Volga German colonies from 1764-1941. All are invited to attend! Contact Maggie for additional information at 773.261.2181 or may5902@earthlink.net.

 
Presentation: "Volga German Churches : Expressing Faith Through Architecture"

Saturday, August 20, 2011, 11:00 a.m.
Zion Evangelical Free Church, 701 N. Daniel St., Weatherford, Oklahoma

As part of the Oklahoma statewide AHSGR gathering, Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, will present information regarding the architecture and history of the Protestant and Catholic parishes that existed among the Volga German colonies from 1764-1941. A potluck luncheon will follow. All are invited to attend!

 
Presentation: "Volga German Immigration to Argentina"

Saturday, April 16, 2011, 12:30 p.m.
Concordia University Library, 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University, will be the luncheon speaker at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Oregon Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. Cost: $15 per person. RSVP to Linda Church at 503.493.6370 by April 13. All are invited to attend!

 
Presentation: "Traditional German Christmas"

Saturday, December 11, 2010, 2:00 p.m.
St. Michael Lutheran Church, 6700 NE 29th Ave., Portland, Oregon

The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University and the Oregon Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia are presenting a Traditional Christmas Program put together by Steve Schreiber and his daughter Lizzie. Concordia's Dr. Norm Metzler will be leading some of the music selections. All are invited to attend!

 
Presentation: "Portland and Her Volga Germans" by Brent Mai

Saturday, November 6, 2010, 5:30 p.m.
Immanuel Lutheran Church, 39901 Pleasant St., Sandy, Oregon

As part of Immanuel's Oktoberfest 2010, CVGS Director Brent Mai will speak about the history of Portland's Volga German community and the role that Concordia's Center for Volga German Studies is playing in the study and preservation of Volga German history and culture. The event is sponsored by Immanuel Lutheran Church. The public is invited.

 
Presentation: "Establishment of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University" by Brent Mai

Saturday, October 23, 2010, 2:00 p.m.
Whisky Creek Wood Fire Grill, 3203 Vine St., Hays, Kansas

CVGS Director, Brent Mai, will speak about the establishment of the Center for Volga German Studies. The event is sponsored by the Kansas Round-Up of Chapters (AHSGR). The public is invited.

 
Presentation: "Volga Relief Society: Responding to Human Suffering During the 1921 Russian Famine" by Brent Mai

Saturday, October 16, 2010, 1:00 p.m.
Berea Lutheran Church, 7538 Emerson Ave., Richfield, Minnesota

CVGS Director, Brent Mai, will speak about the history of the Volga Relief Society and the establishment of the Center for Volga German Studies. The event is sponsored by the North Star Chapter (AHSGR & GRHS). The public is invited.

 
Presentation by Isabel Kessler

Thursday, August 12, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Concordia University Library (Room 310), 2800 NE Liberty St., Portland, Oregon

Isabel Kessler, president of the Association of Volga-German Descendants in Argentina (Asociación Argentina Descendientes de Alemanes del Volga), lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mrs. Kessler is accompanied on her visit to the Center for Volga German Studies by Clara Elsässer. A dessert reception will follow the presentation.

 
CVGS Grand Opening
Read all about the Grand Opening events held 24-25 October 2009.
Last updated on 17 March 2016.