Jeffery D. Hrbek

The first Czech language Chairman at the University

After the long struggle to establish a Czech Language program at the University, Jeffery Doležal Hrbek of Cedar Rapids Iowa arrived in the fall of 1907. He was the first instructor and chairman for the program. Hrbek attended Lafayette College in Easton Pennsylvania and the State University of Iowa. At the University of Nebraska he taught German language and literature in addition to Czech. His stay at the University was cut short when he died at the age of twenty-five from Typhoid on December 4 of that same year. Hrbek’s students were grief stricken and decided to memorialize their instructor. The first Komenský Club convention met on New Year’s Day in 1908 and decided to raise money for a memorial to him in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Posthumously a collection of his poems was published in 1908 titled, Linden Blossoms. His sister Šárka Hrbková carried on his legacy at the University by filling his position after his death (Rosicky, 425-427).