Dr. med. Aina Galēja-Dravniece (1925–2013) was born on 14 April 1925 in Riga in a family of medical professionals. In 1944, she and her family went into exhile to Germany, where she completed her medical studies, earning a doctorate in Hamburg in 1950. After moving to the United States in 1951, she obtained a medical doctor's degree with specialisation in pathology.

She worked as a pathologist from 1956 to 2002. In her free time with her husband, physicist Fricis Dravnieks, she travelled extensively, visiting all seven continents.

When Latvia regained its independence, Dr. med. Galēja-Dravniece in her advanced age could not participate directly in the work required for revival of the country, nevertheless, she was able to provide scholarships for Latvian youth to enable studying abroad. The largest scholarship programme is at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, where scholarship holders have the opportunity to spend an entire academic year studying humanitarian and business subjects. The scholarship was established following the initiative of Professor Paulis Lazda and with his care continues to this day. In the 2009/2010 academic year the scholarship was awarded to three female scholars from Latvia. During these years, 51 scholarships have already been disbursed.

Around 1996, a programme for Latvian doctors enabling one or two month studies abroad began. The scholarship is granted for the subsistence and travel expenses of the selected programme. Since 2005, pathology residents of Latvia have scholarships, the amount of which depends on the applicant's study results. Both programmes continued in the 2009/2010 academic year.

Dr. med. Aina Galēja-Dravniece has received these honorary awards and marks of distinction: Republic of Latvia Order of the Three Stars in 2001, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Honorary Alumnus Award in 2006, title Latvijas lepnums ("Pride of Latvia") in 2008.

On 25 September 2010 Aina Galēja-Dravniece was awarded the title of the honorary member of the University of Latvia.

Aina Galēja-Dravniece passed away on 3 December 2013.


In July 2006, Dr. med. Aina Galēja-Dravniece awarded a grant of USD 60 000 to the University of Latvia Foundation for Scholarship programme "Ceļamaize" ("Bread for the journey") and other charitable purposes.

In the 2014/2015 academic year, Aina Galēja-Dravniece Memorial Scholarships were awarded to Agija Kalve, Līga Apsēna, Matīss Ķeiris, Mārcis Rublāns, Mihails Šišovs, Zane Ozoliņa. The amount of a scholarship – EUR 1 250.