The main building of the University of Latvia. © Photo: Toms Grīnbergs, UL

The cooperation of patrons, students and researchers expands recognition of Latvia worldwide. The University of Latvia (UL) Foundation in cooperation with “Friends of the University of Latvia” in the USA and supporters in Germany, Canada and Australia, whose constant efforts highlight the value of giving, inspires gratitude of recipients. This is a stalwart contribution to growth of public intellectual capacity and patriotism.

Since 2019, the UL Foundation has been making long-term investments in various financial instruments, and the proceeds fund the open competitions for the scholarships awarded to the most promising University of Latvia students and research groups. This is a new experience in the Baltic states. So far, four patrons have made endowments to the University of Latvia in the amount of several million: Kurt Hagen, Andrejs Jurgens, Modris K. Gulbis and Kārlis Kaufmanis. Jānis Priedkalns, in turn, has created a scholarship fund to be used as endowment, while Eigits D. Timermanis has bequeathed land properties, the proceeds whereof are used to support Latvian students and young researchers. All these donors are united by their Latvian roots, however, a large part of their lives and careers has been spent abroad.

Platinum Patron Kurt Hagen (1916–2000)

Kurt Hagen, one of the most generous patrons of the University of Latvia, was born in Latvia, but moved to Hamburg, Germany, where he has been laid to rest. In 1999, he bequeathed all the property acquired during his lifetime in the amount of 2.4 million EUR to the UL Foundation with the aim of supporting gifted students in gaining experience by means of exchange studies at German universities. To date, the support has been received by 8 University of Latvia students representing different fields of studies. Furthermore, in 2017, in appreciation of this contribution, the UL Foundation initiated creation of a symbolic environmental object at the UL Botanical Garden – a bench, and establishment of a new website

Platinum Patron Andrejs Jurgens (1939–2010)

A generous donor, American Latvian Andrejs Jurgens could be denominated one of the most mysterious benefactors, since very little is known about him. A. Jurgens was also born in Riga, and along with his family were compelled to flee the city as refugees. They ultimately settled in Northern California, USA, where the patron spent his entire life amongst the expatriate Latvian society. In 2013, the UL Foundation received a legacy of USD 2 000 000, which were committed to Ceļamaize (“Bread for the Journey”) scholarships. Promoting the development of sports at the University of Latvia, the first sports scholarships under the programme Ceļamaize were awarded to promising young people in 2013, and to date 44 talented young athletes have received support promoting excellence.

Golden Patron Jānis Priedkalns (1934)

Australian Latvian, doctor of medicine Jānis Priedkalns was born into the family of the University of Latvia graduates and to date is a steadfast supporter of his parents, alma mater. In 2010, the Honorary Doctor of the University of Latvia J. Priedkalns bequeathed EUR 142 400 to the University of Latvia to be used as an endowment for the Jānis Priedkalns Medical Science Research Foundation. To date, this endowment has enabled funding of 6 scholarships and a major project in neurology.

Golden Patron Eigits D. Timermanis (1935)

Patron Eigits Dāvis Timermanis, known as Goga, lives in Australia, where he also built his career, but nevertheless he calls Latvia his native country. In honour of both parents, graduates of the University of Latvia, Goga, the patron of the University of Latvia has bequeathed three land properties to the University, the proceeds whereof are used to support capable doctoral students or doctoral degree candidates implementing competitiveness studies in social sciences. So far, 5 researchers have received support for development of their doctoral thesis.

Silver Patron Kārlis Kaufmanis (1910–2003)

Kārlis Kaufmanis, a graduate and lecturer of the University of Latvia, is known as the oldest astronomer of Latvian origin, who has spent most of his career in the universities of the USA. In 2003, Professor K. Kaufmanis bequeathed USD 100 000 to the University of Latvia to promote development of astronomy in his homeland. To date, 13 scholarships have been paid to the University of Latvia students engaged in astronomy research.

Silver Patron Modris K. Gulbis (1927–2002)

The University of Latvia lecturer, Doctor of Theology Modris Kārlis Gulbis went to the United States as a refugee, where he served in several Lutheran congregations until the end of his life. In honour of the pastor, the Modris K. Gulbis Memorial Foundation was established in America. In 2014, the Foundation has given an endowment USD 85 000 to the UL Foundation. Its proceeds fund the scholarships to those capable and diligent students of the UL Faculty of Theology who aspire to dedicating their lives to service in Latvian Lutheran congregations in Latvia or abroad. To date, 16 scholarships have been awarded.

Each of us can support development of higher education in Latvia. The University of Latvia Foundation regularly updates the University of Latvia project idea portfolio, which is awaiting the support of patrons.

About the University of Latvia Foundation

Since 2004, the UL Foundation provides an opportunity to patrons and cooperation partners to support both the University of Latvia and other leading higher education institutions of our country, thereby investing in the future of Latvia. The priorities of the UL Foundation are to support the most outstanding, dedicated students and researchers, to advance creation of a modern study environment, as well as to promote construction and refurbishment of university’s buildings.