Remembering Maxine

I’m saddened to hear the news about Maxine’s passing. I always thought she was eternally young, as well as full of energy, wisdom, and a generous spirit. 

[Maxine] helped shape my career and life choices through that first David Lawrence scholarship in 1969, for which I’m forever grateful. May she Rest In Peace knowing she accomplished so much and is loved by so many. 

Pat McGunagle


We have lost a dear friend in Maxine Bruhns....She was such an integral part of Nationality Rooms that it was hard to imagine The Rooms without her! Well, she has left a wonderful legacy, for generations to come........I have yet to come across a more committed,  dedicated and a passionate person. Nationality Rooms were her baby and she saw to it that she met people from each and every community and made them aware of her vision. She always strived for perfection and would not tolerate anyone disrespecting the building. 

This picture was taken last year on Decoration Day - she was rather frail, as one can see in the picture, but her strong will power brought her to check out on each room! I do not know how many of us would have the stamina to do so(in her frail condition)......She never refrained from working hard towards achieving her goals. 

Maxine will be sorely missed but she definitely has left a lasting legacy - never to be forgotten! May her soul rest in peace!!

Rashmi Ravindra
Indian Committee Chair

We are very sorry to hear about the passing of Maxine. What a legend she has become in her long, adventurous and influential life! We are very proud to have met Maxine and we consider ourselves to be lucky to have been a part of the great program she led and kept expanding for decades. We hope her radiant legacy will help you in the Nationality Rooms overcome the loss. 

Please accept our sincere condolences. 

Martin Mikeska and Katarina Nemcokova
Alumni of Ruth Crawford Mitchell Scholarship

I have known Maxine Bruhns for more than 27 years. She has helped guide me and I always used to get amazed at her knowledge and her overall grasp of various topics that needed addressed. Nothing escaped her. I truly feel she represented the Nationality Rooms Program. A great visionary with leadership skills, who will be immensely missed and impossible to replace.

Saroj Bahl
Past Indian Room Committee Chair

As one walks through the door, as one walks in, the eyes are drawn to the history and culture of our homeland all because of your attentiveness to detail - this room reminding us of home where stories were told and passed on from one generation to another.

Your Nationality Room legacy will live on.  You will continue to be in our hearts.

Thank you, Maxine, for inspiring us to complete the Philippine Nationality classroom project, the newest addition to the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh.  We will celebrate your creative ingenuity and we will continue your legacy to be passed down to our children.

Maxine, you have been alongside us in all our challenges in completing our Philippine Nationality classroom, which [provide] permanent memories of how your persistence has paid off.

It was a privilege to have worked with you, Maxine Bruhns.  (Philippine Nationality Room dedication, June 10 2019)

Philippine Room Committee

Am so very sorry to hear about Maxine. She truly was an extraordinary woman.

Susan Santa-Cruz

We were extremely saddened to hear the news about Maxine’s passing last Friday.  I had spoken with her a few weeks ago while she was at home, and she seemed to be coping with the pandemic in her usual unflappable style.  I’m not sure if she had been ill recently or what the cause might have been.  Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help as you get through this difficult time of transition.  If there is a memorial or any kind of burial or other service in Maxine’s honor and if safe physical presence of friends is allowed, my wife and I would love to be there to celebrate her life.

Deepak Wadhwani, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Indian Nationality Room Architect

Dear Friends, 

On behalf of the Chinese Heritage Committee, I would like to express our deepest sympathy at Maxine's passing. She was a great supporter of our scholarship program and Chinese culture for many years. May her legacy continue through the Nationality Rooms and their programs.

Dewi Wong and the Chinese Heritage Committee

The French Room Committee is very sorry to hear of Maxine’s passing. She was a force of nature whose contributions to the Nationality Rooms Program made it the rich cultural treasure and resource it is today.

Our thoughts are with all of you. We look forward to a time when we can safely gather to properly honor her memory and legacy.

Roberta Hatcher and the French Room Committee

I wanted to offer my condolences on her passing. She was singular in her dedication to and long association with the NR. She embraced her projects with passion and infused everything she touched with her unique, unmistakeable style. Her legacy will always be remembered.

Wendy Bennett

I just saw this morning the very sad news regarding Maxine’s passing. While this is a tremendous loss to the Pitt community, I can only imagine how tough this may be for [the Nationality Rooms staff], given how much time you worked with her. I wanted to offer my condolences in what is undoubtedly a difficult time... Maxine, in the unforgettable moments I knew her, left such a positive impression on me. She, and all [the] team at the Nationality Rooms office have helped shape my career and future; for this, I will always be grateful.

Varun Mandi
David L. Lawrence Scholarship recipient

Many of the past and current members of the Greek Room Committee fondly remember Maxine who was always a champion of all our past and current events. The older members will remember her energy and joy as the Greek Room was being assembled and the more recent members will remember her actively opening many doors for us inside the University to allow us to realize ideas and projects that otherwise would have been difficult if not impossible.

We will miss her energy at our events but most importantly we will miss her wise guidance and unparalleled insights into matters that affect us as a community and as Greeks inside America.

May her memory be eternal.

Nick Giannoukakis
Greek Room Committee