Kristaps Morbergs

All-time greatest University of Latvia patron

The birthplace of grand patron Kristaps Morbergs (1844–1929) is Zemgale, the country house "Lielstrikaiši" in Bukaiši parish, Tērvete. He was the youngest son in a large family, hence there was no hope to remain at his father's house as its prospective owner. According to his contemporaries, in 1864, K. Morbergs walked from his native parish to Riga, where he found a job as a construction worker.

Within nine years (1864–1873), he had achieved wealth, both material and spiritual. From an uneducated rural boy, he had grown to become an educated houseowner of Riga, where at the time prevailed German culture. His fortune was worth several million lats. K. Morbergs was a man of strong character and a true entrepreneurial spirit. When the real estate crisis hit Riga, and banks were almost threatening to reclaim loans that would put the entrepreneur on the brink of bankruptcy, K. Morbergs bought two excellent horses in Germany and went on luxury rides in the streets of Berlin and Riga. The emergence of K. Morbergs with the expensive trotters led the bankers of Berlin and Riga to believe that the entrepreneur's financial position is more than healthy. While other businessmen were negotiating bankruptcy procedures, K. Morbergs received new loans from banks, which allowed to carry over the real estate crisis.

Honorary plaque "Summer house and botanical garden of Auguste Morbergs"

On 24 September 2009 at the reception of patrons hosted by the UL Rector, Professor Mārcis Auziņš at Morbergs' summer house in Jūrmala, Dzintaru prospekts 52/54, a persona dressed as a wife of the patron Kristaps Morbergs, Auguste (portrayed by the singer Linda Leen), together with Professor Emeritus Ivars Lācis, the UL Foundation’s Chair of the Board, unveiled a honorary plaque inscribed Augustes Morberg vasarnīca un botāniskais dārzs (Summer house and botanical garden of Auguste Morbergs).

175th anniversary of noble patron

In celebration of the 175th anniversary of Kristaps Morbergs, a book "Filantropijas stāsti" ("Stories of Philanthropy") was opened in his apartment at Z. Meierovica bulvāris on 20 September 2019, followed by reception of UL patrons. A memorial event was held at Lielie kapi (Great Cemetery of Riga), attended by the Acting Rector of the University of Latvia, Professor Gvido Straube, Chair of the UL Foundation’s Board, UL Professor Emeritus Ivars Lācis and Managing Director of the UL Foundation Laila Kundziņa.


Long before his late years, K. Morbergs deliberated upon the best use of his material resources to benefit humanity. He defined a perfect goal – to help his nation rise mentally and ethically. Therefore, he donated all his property to the University of Latvia.

K. Morbergs in his will chose the University of Latvia as his general legatee and in 1928 bequeathed eight houses in the centre of Riga and Jūrmala to the University. K. Morbergs left his legacy with the aim of making the acquisition of higher education as accessible as possible to everyone in Latvia. The income from management of property and financial assets enables annual award of scholarships to the students of the University of Latvia and other higher education institutions.

The first scholarships were awarded in 1929, and, after disruption brought about by the Soviet period, the awarding of scholarships named after Kristaps Morbergs recommenced in 2001.


Scholarship recipients

In the 2019/2020 academic year: (UL medicine, health and natural sciences) Svjatoslavs Kistkins, Artūrs Mazarēvičs, Daniils Vladimirovs, Matīss Apinis, Ksenija Korotkaja, Rihards Ruska, Andis Draguns, Beāte Krūze, Elizabete Laiviņa; (UL humanities and arts) Rota Lāce, Alise Švandere, Jēkabs Jānis Akermanis, Baiba Plakane; (UL social sciences) Raivo Vilcāns.

In the 2018/2019 academic year: (UL medicine, health and natural sciences) Andis Draguns, Artūrs Šilaks, Haralds Baunis, Svjatoslavs Kistkins, Matīss Apinis, Helvijs Niedra; (UL humanities and arts) Līva Kukle, Alise Pokšāne, Toms Pāvils, Ieva Melgalve, Signe Viška, Laura Kļaviņa; (UL social sciences) Anna Patrīcija Mālere, Marija Stefānija Skudra, Kristīne Sikora.

In the 2017/2018 academic year: (UL social sciences) Nora Ventaskraste, Anete Baltiņa, Anna Patrīcija Mālere, Marija Stefānija Skudra, Zane Kalniņa; (UL humanities and arts) Zane Višķere, Zane Katrīne Kļaviņa, Līva Kukle, Ieva Melgalve; (UL medicine, health and natural sciences) Artūrs Šilaks, Daniels Krimans, Rimants Žogota, Annija Varkale, Krišjānis Rudus, Eva Emīlija Česle; (Riga Technical university) Mārtiņš Lisovs, Mikus Puriņš, Emīls Garančs, Jānis Raivis Mucenieks, Raimonds Bogdanovičs, Ivo Liepa.

In the 2016/2017 academic year: (UL) Austris Cīrulnieks, Zane Katrīne Kļaviņa, Estere Kalks, Līva Kukle, Svens Lurie, Nora Ventaskraste, Vilmārs Vesingi, Ļevs Rusilo, Rimants Žogota, Daniels Krimans, Marija Somoviča, Ērika Tomiņa, Laima Baldiņa, Alise Ella Pretkalniņa; (Riga Technical university) Santa Bērziņa, Roberta Kazimjaņeca, Rūdis Rubenis, Sindija Virse, Inese Gusta, Hermanis Sorokins.