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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.

Dr. Alfred Bader's Birthday Commemorations

In honor of Dr. Alfred Bader, organizations are hosting various birthday commemorations all around the world.

United States

  • American Chemical Society
  • Milwaukee Art Museum
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Canada

  • Queen’s University at Kingston

Europe

  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
  • Masaryk University
  • Quakers in Britain
  • Symphonova
  • The Rembrandt House Museum
  • The Wiener Holocaust Library
  • University of Edinburgh

American Chemical Society

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.

Budapest University of Technology and Economics

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).

Masaryk University

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.

Milwaukee Art Museum

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.

Quakers in Britain, The Wiener Holocaust Library and Symphonova

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.

Queen's University at Kingston

Location: Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Queen’s University at Kingston will host multiple celebrations to commemorate Dr. Alfred Bader’s 100th birthday.

  • Agnes Etherington Art Centre
  • Archives
  • Department of Art History and Art Conservation
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Jewish Studies
  • Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
  • Office of Advancement
  • Sistema Kingston – Faculty of Education
  • Student Financial Aid

For more information, please contact judith.brown@queensu.ca

The Rembrandt House Museum

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.

The University of Edinburgh

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.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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.

“Whenever I have contemplated any achievement in my life, I have marveled how many and how diverse are the people who have made it possible.”
- Dr. Alfred Bader