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The Center for Austrian Studies at 40

Opening of the 2017 Kann Memorial Lecture.
Photo: Center for Austrian Studies

The Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota celebrates 40 years in 2017. Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner was among the congratulants at the celebrations in Minneapolis-St. Paul. He also attended the Center’s annual Kann Memorial Lecture.

The Center for Austrian Studies, currently headed by Professor Howard Louthan, is the western hemisphere’s oldest and best-known research center investigating the past, present, and future of Central Europe with a specific focus on Austria and the successor states of the Habsburg Empire. 

It was founded in 1977 with a $1 million gift from the Austrian government after a public fundraising campaign in 1976 on the occasion of the American Bicentennial. The gift was a token of gratitude of Austria to the United States for its support after 1945 and was furnished to the University of Minnesota by Austrian Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky in person. 

Austrian Federal Chancellor Dr. Bruno Kreisky and University of Minnesota President C. Peter McGrath, 1977.
Photo: Center for Austrian Studies

The Center’s 2017 Kann Memorial Lecture was delivered on November 30, 2017 by Professor Franz Szabo, director emeritus of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta.  On the occasion, Ambassador Waldner met with the Center’s faculty and representatives from the University of Minnesota, including its president, Eric W. Kaler. The Ambassador emphasized the friendship and cooperation between the Center for Austrian Studies and Austria over the past 40 years and highlighted its many contributions to scholarship and academic mobility between Austria and the United States.

To learn more about the Center and its programs, visit