Giles Hoyt Receives Germany’s Highest Civilian Honor

/_Assets/uploads/images/wost-brand.jpgGiles Hoyt, Professor Emeritus of German and Philanthropic Studies and past Director of IUPUI’s Max Kade German-American Center in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI is the recipient of the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Federal Cross of Honor, which is the Federal Republic of Germany’s highest tribute for services to the nation.

Dr. Hoyt has been a pivotal figure in the field of German and German-American Studies, reaching far beyond the academic sphere. An internationally recognized scholar, his service to the university, as well as to the German-American community, particularly in Indiana and the Midwest, spans more than three decades. He has served on the board of numerous organizations, both locally and nationally, dealing with German-American relations. Professor Hoyt was instrumental in the establishment and development of the IUPUI Max Kade German-American Research and Resource Center, a national model for interdisciplinary German and German-American Studies. Together with his wife, Dr. Dolores Hoyt, and friends and colleagues Drs. Eberhard and Ruth Reichmann, Hoyt created the Hoyt-Reichmann Faculty Chair in German American Studies and German Language and Culture with a $1.3 million gift commitment to the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

The Bundesverdienstkreuz was instituted in 1951 by German President Theodor Heuss. It is the only honor that may be awarded in all fields of endeavor. It may be awarded to Germans as well as foreigners for achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for a myriad of outstanding services to the nation in the fields of social, charitable and philanthropic work.

In a nomination letter, Drs. Claudia Grossmann, Eberhard Reichmann, and Ruth Reichmann wrote: “Professor Hoyt’s contributions to IUPUI, to academia and the German community are manifold and significant. His teaching in the German Program, research and publications, his service, his accomplishments in internationalizing the campus, as well as his philanthropic support are outstanding. His long-standing civic and community engagement can serve as a model for others to follow.”

The letter went on to say that Hoyt has tirelessly fostered German-American relations, deepened knowledge and understanding on both sides of the Atlantic, and built bridges between Germany and the United States and the citizens of both nations.

Hoyt received the Cross on Wednesday, June 23rd from Consul General of Germany Onno Hueckmann, who traveled from Chicago to make the presentation. The ceremony took place at the Indianapolis Athenaeum and was hosted by the Max Kade German-American Center. Indiana’s Honorary Consul to Germany, Sven Schumacher, served as the event emcee and remarks were also made by German Professor and Max Kade Center Director Dan Nuetzel and Liberal Arts Dean William Blomquist.

Dean Blomquist said, “It’s wonderful to see Giles recognized by Germany for his service to the cause of German-American relations and the promotion of German language and culture in the U.S. But all the while that Giles was advancing those purposes, he was also promoting and serving IUPUI. In Indianapolis, throughout Indiana, throughout the United States, and overseas, IUPUI and the IU School of Liberal Arts couldn’t have had a better ambassador than Giles Hoyt. Much of what exists today in international programs and activities at IUPUI started under Giles’ leadership of what was then known as the Office of International Programs [now the Office of International Affairs], and our students continue to benefit from the internationalization he has promoted so tirelessly and effectively.”

Numerous individuals and organizations supported the event, demonstrating the close ties between the IUPUI Max Kade Center and German Program and the Indianapolis German American community. More than 100 community friends, university colleagues, former students, and German-American organization representatives attended the presentation ceremony.