Zdenek Hruban, Professor Emeritus in Pathology, was recently awarded the Medal of Merit of the First Degree by Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic.
Hruban received this state decoration in the Library of Congress on Sept. 17 for "lifetime efforts in the promotion of Czech-American relations." Attending the award ceremony were Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State, and Alexandr Vondra, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States.
Hruban established the Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad at the Joseph Regenstein Library in 1972 with the help of the late Vaclav Laska, a former Slavic bibliographer at the University. The archives contain personal material and the works of Czechs and Slovaks published outside the Czech and Slovak Republics.
The archives are located in the Special Collections section of the library and consist of 260 shelves of books, brochures, periodicals, anniversary publications, almanacs and personal papers of Czechs and Slovaks living outside of the Czech Republic. The majority of the materials comprising the archives were published in North America during the past 150 years.