Alfred Bader, of blessed memory (OBM), was born in Vienna and fled on the Kindertransport from Nazi Austria to England at the age of fourteen, ten months before the outbreak of World War II. In 1940, the British government ordered the internment of all refugees between the ages of 16-70; Alfred Bader was among those transported to a Canadian prisoner-of-war camp.
After his release in 1941, he was accepted at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he qualified for two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in chemistry. He went on to earn a PhD doctoral degree in organic chemistry at Harvard University in 1949. He worked in Milwaukee as a research chemist for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company and in 1950 founded Aldrich Chemicals, which today, as MilliporeSigma, is the world’s largest supplier of research chemicals.
After leaving then Sigma-Aldrich, he continued a fruitful career as an art collector and dealer. Bader and his family earned a reputation as generous benefactors, notably in the fields of chemistry, education, and Jewish interests. His personal philanthropy has been directed toward helping chemistry and art history students.
In honor of Dr. Alfred Bader, organizations are hosting various birthday commemorations all around the world.
The American Chemical Society will be featuring Dr. Alfred Bader in its Chemical and Engineering News magazine, which is the largest scientific magazine in the world.
The Budapest University of Technology and Economics will be featuring an article about Dr. Alfred Bader. The article will be published in Hungarian in the spring issue of the Hungarian Jewish cultural magazine Múlt és Jövő (Past and Future).
Location: Brno, Czech Republic
Masaryk University will be hosting a lecture followed by a reception that will include excursions to research laboratories, popularization of hands-on laboratory experiments, demonstrations, and video projections. Due to his Czech roots, Dr. Bader was passionate during his life about expanding high-level scientific research in the region.
Date: Sunday, April 28, 2024
Time: 10 AM – 5 PM
Location: 700 N. Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Milwaukee Art Museum will be hosting a free community day filled with activities, such as a scavenger hunt through the European Collection, local performing artists, a video featuring Dr. Alfred Bader, and sweet treats for all guests to enjoy.
Location: Friends House Library in Euston, London
This multi-faceted event will provide guests a glimpse into the historical significance of the Kindertransport, how Quakers are advocating for refugees today, and Dr. Alfred Bader’s contribution to the world of chemistry. In addition, guests will enjoy an evening of orchestral music, including works by Hans Krieg and Robert Kahn who suffered under the Holocaust and a composition which will be performed for the first time to honor Dr. Bader’s legacy. Dr. Bader warmly remembered the hospitality the British Quakers showed him during his time as a refugee in the United Kingdom.
Location: Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Queen’s University at Kingston will host multiple celebrations to commemorate Dr. Alfred Bader’s 100th birthday.
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Location: The Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Rembrandt House Museum will honor Dr. Alfred Bader by offering youth a week of art workshops devoted to Rembrandt’s painting techniques.
Date: Sunday, April 28, 2024
Location: The Reid Concert Hall at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland
The University of Edinburgh will host the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development Alumni Event. This all day conference will be followed by a reception.
Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Zelazo Center
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will be hosting a campus-wide Bader Philanthropies Day. Guests will learn how Dr. Alfred Bader impacted the lives of students and faculty through the Sullivan Spaights and Hmong Advancement scholarships; and the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education.