Luebke, Frederick C., 1927-
Fredrick Carl Luebke was born on January 26, 1927 in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. His father was Fredrick John Luebke, a teacher in Lutheran parochial schools. His mother was Martha Kretzmann, the daughter of a Lutheran clergyman. While a student at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois (now named Concordia University-Chicago), he met Norma Wukasch (b. March 1, 1930), a fellow student. They were married in Peoria, Illinois, on August 12, 1951. They are the parents of four children: Christina McPhee (b. 1954), John "Seikai" (b. 1956), David (b. 1960), and Thomas (b.1962)
Following his graduation from Concordia in 1950, Luebke taught in elementary schools in East St. Louis, Illinois (1950-1951), and Pomona, California (1951-1957). While in Pomona, he decided to abandon elementary education for a career as a history teacher. He attended (part-time) the nearby Claremont Graduate School, now called Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, California, and was awarded a master of arts degree in history in 1958. In 1957 he accepted an appointment as a history teacher in a high school in Los Angeles, where he served until 1961. During those years, he was enrolled as a part-time graduate student in a Ph.D. program in the University of Southern California, in preparation for a career of teaching at the collegiate level.
In 1961, Leubke accepted an appointment as assistant professor of history at Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, now called Concordia University-Nebraska. During his tenure there he continued his doctoral studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1966. In 1968, he accepted an appointment as an associate professor of history, succeeding his mentor, Professor James C. Olson, who left UNL to become chancellor of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Luebke was promoted to full professor in 1972 and was named Charles J. Mach Distinguished Professor of History by the university's Board of Regents in 1987. He retired in 1994.
His teaching field at the undergraduate level was American History, with emphasis on the American West, the Great Plains, and Nebraska. In his graduate seminars he emphasized Nebraska history and the immigration of European immigrant groups and their assimilation into American society. He received an Outstanding Teachers Award in 1983 and in 1985 he received the university's highest honor, the Outstanding Research and Creative Activities award.
His publications include twelve books, seven of which are edited volumes, two dozen articles, and over one hundred book reviews. During his tenure at UNL, Luebke served as director of the Center for Great Plains Studies (1983-1988) and as founding editor of the Center's Great Plains Quarterly (1980-1985).
Major awards include an appointment in 1974-75 as a Fulbright Research Fellow at the University of Stuttgart (Germany) and in 1982 as a Rockefeller Foundation Scholar-in-Residence at the foundation's study center in Bellagio, Italy. In 1992, he served as a visiting professor of history at the University of Hannover (Germany). He has lectured at many universities in the United States and Europe, including Johns Hopkins, Wisconsin, Yale, Kansas, Oklahoma State, University of London, Oxford, and several universities in Germany.
Luebke has served the state of Nebraska as a member of the governing board of the Nebraska State Historical Society and the executive committee of NSHS foundation. He lectured widely across the state for Nebraska Humanities Council, which gave him its Sower Award in 1990.
In 2005, Professor and Mrs. Luebke moved to Eugene, Oregon, where their son David is a professor of history at the University of Oregon. [Luebke, 2007, July 27]