Patron Modris Galenieks was born on 8 July 1933 in Riga. Early childhood days were spent at parents' home in Krustpils. On 25 October 1944 leaves Latvia with his parents. As refugees they stayed in a camp in Augsburg, Germany. Emigrated to America and came to Chicago in 1950. From 1954 to October of 1956 served in the Army of United States. In 1965, he graduated from the Allied Technical Institute with a degree "Bachelor of Industrial Tool Engineering", and married Valija Tuklere. Modris Galenieks has worked as an engineer at several firms.

Patroness Valija (née Tukleris) was born on 29 February 1940, at her parents' house "Ziemeļi", where she spent her childhood years until the October of 1944, when her father took the family across the sea on his motorboat to emigrate to Sweden. They spent 7 years in Orebro, and in 1951 went to Canada. The family lived in Toronto, Canada until 1959, when Valija's father's dream came true and the family moved to Chicago. Valija worked for several construction companies as an accountant, as well as a real estate salesperson.

"We believe that supporting the University of Latvia and capable, dedicated young people is an investment both in the future of these students and that of Latvia. Education today as well as in the future will be crucial to compete with other nations and to advance the name of Latvia throughout the next century. We urge the scholarship recipients after their graduation to support Latvia and help the students who will follow in their footsteps," – these inspiring words Modris and Valija Galenieks have dedicated to all of us.

Modris and Valija were married in 1965 and are grateful for their lives spent together. Modris was employed by companies with retirement plans and could augment these with a part of his salary. Both started their IRA retirement accounts when they paid 13% on investments.

Their first priority was to raise money to pay for a two apartment house. They still own this house today. In their early years, both of them had two jobs. Modris worked as an engineer, while Valija was employed as a secretary, an accountant and a real estate salesperson. It helped them to acquire a family home.

Pensions, investments and real estate enable them to enjoy their retirement years and support Latvian organizations.

The patrons have donated significant amounts of money to:

  • Spotlight Latvia Business Conference (chaired by Roberts Blumbergs)
  • Honorary Consul of Latvia for the State of Illinois
  • American Latvian Association
  • Latvian Center "Gaŗezers"
  • Latvian Foundation
  • Latvians Abroad
  • Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
  • National Library of Latvia

Both have supported and remain active members of Latvian organizations in Chicago: Valija has been the chairperson of the Chicago Latvian Radio Broadcasting (CLRR) Committee since 1997. Committee and Modris – the Committee’s technical administrator. Both have been very active at the Chicago Latvian Ski Club, serving as superintendents, excursion managers, and in other capacities from 1970 until the club terminated its activities in 2012.


In 2017 – support to the project’s "Topological modelling of structural alignment: a topological and experimental analysis of information visualization" closing international conference with donation of USD 2 000.

In 2017 – support to participation of the UL students at International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC) in Beijing with a donation of USD 2 000.

In the 2018/2019 academic year, the Galenieks Family Scholarship for Riga Technical University (RTU) Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Transport and Aeronautics bachelor’s degree programme students was established, dedicating USD 25 000 for the purpose.

In 2019, the patrons have donated EUR 3 967.90.

Scholarship recipients

In the 2019/2020 academic year – Elīza Gaile (UL) and Ņikita Kuzmins (RTU).

In the 2018/2019 academic year, the scholarships have been awarded to RTU Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Transport and Aeronautics bachelor’s degree programme students Ņikita Kuzmins, Mārtiņš Ļuļļa and Artūrs Mazurs.

We greatly appreciate the generous support to education and development!

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