Dr. Ruth Reichmann
2013 Hoosier German - American of the Year
Ruth Reichmann was born in Munich, and grew up in Germany during the war years. While studying at the University of Cincinnati, she met her late husband, Eberhard Reichmann. After he received his Ph.D. he took a position with the German department at Indiana University and they moved to Bloomington. Ruth transferred from Pre-Med at U. of Cincinnati to Speech and Theater at I.U. and finished her B.A. degree work there. Both decided to stay in the U.S. and became U.S. citizens.
Ruth Reichmann's background and interests are diverse and extend from environmental to historic preservation, from community organizing, economic and community development and organizational development, to establishing and aiding sister cities committees.
From 1982-1990 she served as State Coordinator and Representative, State of Indiana, of Sister Cities International, Washington, D.C. In 1987, she was the founding President of Indiana Sister Cities, the State Sister Cities organization. She aided in the forming of town affiliations, including New Harmony and Wiernsheim, Jasper and Pfaffenweiler, and Indianapolis and Cologne.
In 1983 she was appointed by Governor Orr together with then Honorary Consul Horst Winkler, her husband Prof. Eberhard Reichmann, Prof. Giles Hoyt and William Selm to the German Immigration Tri-centennial Commission, State of Indiana, where she served as the Executive Vice Chair. In 1984 she became the founding President of the Indiana German Heritage Society and still serves on the Board as President Emerita.
In 1988 she was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of German Languages and Literature and in 1989 she was the founding Director of the IUPUI Max Kade German-American Center. Together with Profs. Giles and Dolores Hoyt and Eberhard Reichmann they endowed a chair to the IUPUI Max Kade German-American Center which provides Indiana and the Eastern area of the Midwest with a center for conducting research and teaching its German-American history and heritage.
Insights gained in the research for her dissertation: Intercultural Adult Education: Its Nature and Exemplification, a theory in intercultural education, (1987) served her well for program and curriculum design, design of teaching units and organizing intercultural (German-American) education programs and conferences.
Since its inception, she has been the Managing Editor of the IGHS newsletter, which is published quarterly and brings information on current events and articles of historical interest on the immigration and settling of Indiana by persons from the German-speaking areas of Europe.
Both Reichmanns worked closely as a team. They conducted programs and Elderhostels, and wrote and published widely on topics ranging from "Investigating Our Hoosier Inheritance" in Hoosier Heritage, No. 8, 1986 to "German-American Studies: A Research Field in Search of a Classroom," pp 289-296, Monatshefte 3, 1988.