The estate of a former professor of German at Kansas University has donated gifts in excess of $1 million to the university, the KU Endowment Association announced Thursday.
A professor of German at KU for more than 30 years, the late J. Anthony "Toni" Burzle left a gift to KU Endowment that includes nearly $717,000 in unrestricted support.
Burzle's bequest also establishes funds for scholarships for students studying German, a lecture program to bring prominent experts in German to KU, to acquire art and to support chamber music programs.
In addition, the bequest includes his collections of music and artwork, his personal library, and the home at 1321 Strong Ave. that he shared with his wife, Muriel, to be named the Muriel and J. Anthony Burzle University Guest House.
"Professor Burzle made a vital contribution to KU over his extraordinary 32-year career," said KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway in a statement issued Thursday. "The generosity of Toni and Muriel Burzle will serve the needs of the university in several important ways."
Helmut Huelsbergen, professor emeritus of German and executor of Burzle's estate, said the university was very important to the couple.
"Muriel and Toni Burzle did not have any children, so their legacy is their remembrance to the University of Kansas," Huelsbergen said.
Muriel Burzle died in March 1997. Toni Burzle died in 1998.
Early in his career, Toni Burzle studied at the University of Dijon, France. In 1932, he received a doctorate from the University of Munich, where he also taught. He emigrated from Germany in 1935 and joined the faculty of the University of Manitoba, Canada. After coming to KU in 1945, he was chairman of the German department from 1947 to 1967.
He initiated the international student exchange program and summer language institutes abroad at KU. From 1951 to 1976, he was director of the KU Orientation Center for Foreign Students. In 1967, he was named associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 1970, he became director of the Foreign Study Programs for KU. Burzle retired from KU in 1977.
Burzle received the Grand Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1967 for fostering German-American cultural relations.