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Co-founder Madison Dutch Club new Knight Dutch order

Surprise at 50th anniversary

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

MADISON, Wisconsin - An emeritus U.S. scientist who since his 1950 Fullbright scholarship days in Amsterdam has been an advocate of Dutch culture, recently was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Casually dressed for a 50th anniversary party of Madisonís Dutch Club, professor Robert Bird, 79, stood in shock as Chicago-based Netherlands Consul General Robert de Leeuw pinned the decoration on the sweatshirt.

Bird retired from his professorate at Madisonís University of Wisconsin in chemical and biological engineering in 1992 but still spends a lot of time in his office at the campus and remains active in the university-affiliated Dutch Club. The group has a mailing list of about 100 local households. Club co-founder and fellow professor emeritus Jan van Loef who now lives in the Netherlands, was on hand for the anniversary.

The university maintains an active Netherlandic Studies program