University of Pittsburgh
May 9, 2004

Pitt's E. Maxine Bruhns to Receive YWCA 2004 A Tribute to Women Award May 13

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—E. Maxine Bruhns, director of the University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs, will receive a YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh's 2004 A Tribute to Women Award at a noon luncheon May 13 in the Pittsburgh Hilton and Towers, downtown.

Since 1983, the A Tribute to Women luncheon has been recognizing the accomplishments of extraordinary women from throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. The awardees—innovators, visionaries, and advocates of change— have helped to shape their communities.

Born in Grafton, W. Va., Bruhns married Fred C. Bruhns three days after graduating with the Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and philosophy from Ohio State University. With her husband, a refugee specialist who worked for several organizations including the United Nations, Bruhns spent 15 years traveling and living in such areas as Austria, Lebanon, Jordan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Germany, Greece, and Gabon, West Africa.

During that time, Bruhns worked with CARE, taught English in binational centers, and studied several languages and cultures. She also earned the Master of Arts degree in education at the American University of Beirut.

In 1965, Bruhns moved to Pittsburgh and joined the University. She works closely with more than 35 ethnic groups to create new Nationality Rooms; maintains the existing rooms, which are historic landmarks that perpetuate the cultures and traditions of the countries and groups they represent; and administers Pitt's Summer Study Abroad Scholarship Program, which has 40 scholarship recipients this year.

During her tenure, the African Heritage, Armenian, Austrian, Indian, Israel Heritage, Japanese, and Ukrainian Rooms were dedicated. On the drawing boards are the Danish, Finnish, Latin American, Philippine, Swiss, Turkish, and Welsh Rooms.

Bruhns was the national chair for the Cornaro Tercentenary Observance in 1978 honoring Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, the first woman in the world to earn a university degree. She is facilitating the translation and publication of the Cornaro biography by the late Benedictine monk, Ludovico Maschietto.

Among Bruhn's honors are the World Affairs Council's David Glick Award in 1992, the Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 1993, and the American Lebanese Congress Ethnic Heritage Award in 1995.