David Barclay, the Margaret and Roger Scholten Professor of International Studies, was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), the country’s highest decoration, popularly known as the Federal Cross of Merit. Because he was unable to receive the award in Berlin, it was presented to him at a ceremony at the German Consulate General in Chicago on June 17.
The website of the Federal President of Germany describes honor as follows: “The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was instituted in 1951 by Federal President Theodor Heuss. It is the only honour that may be awarded in all fields of endeavour and is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation. The Order of Merit may be awarded to Germans as well as foreigners for achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for all kinds of outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work.”
At K, Barclay has taught a wide variety of courses on European history and German history. He directed the Center of Western European Studies at Kalamazoo College from 1990 to 2003, and he currently serves as the executive director of the German Studies Association. He is the author of numerous books and articles, and the focus of his scholarship in particular has been the history of West Berlin from 1948 to 1994. Barclay has received many academic awards and honors, among the most prominent of these was his selection as the George H.W. Bush/Axel Springer Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin (2007). He and fellow faculty member Joe Fugate (professor emeritus of German and director emeritus of the foreign study program) are two Kalamazoo College faculty to receive the Order of Merit.