Both Guna and Robert were born in Europe in the 1930s, yet the winds of change drove their families across the ocean. At present, the Mundheim family resides in New York, USA.

The patron Guna Mundheim (née Šmichens) (1936) was born in Riga, while the roots of her ancestors are to be found in Baldone. In the World War II, Guna and her family fled from Latvia as refugees, and in 1949 she moved to the USA. Her alma mater was the University of Pennsylvania, where Guna obtained higher education in science and arts. First, she studied chemistry and worked as a biochemist, yet for many years Guna Mundheim had also painted and successfully participated in several local exhibitions. She further refined her talent by continuing her studies in Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and worked as an art teacher. She pursued the career of a painter by working with water colours, oil and mixed techniques. During her career, the artist has received dozens of awards. Guna Mundheim’s works are seen in many private collections and public exhibition halls in the USA, the Latvian National Museum of Art, in the collection of the Global Center for Latvian Art in Cēsis and elsewhere. Guna Mundheim is the board member of the charitable organization "Friends of the University of Latvia" and strives to make higher education in Latvia shine brighter.  

The patron Robert Mundheim (1933) is a distinguished American lawyer and Emeritus Professor of Law and Finance of the University of Pennsylvania. The origins of the Mundheim family are in Germany, yet due to World War II, in 1939, the family emigrated to the USA. Robert studied law at Harvard University and graduated from it with excellence. Throughout his life, Robert Mundheim has occupied leading positions in his profession and has received significant awards and prizes, including the award from the journal "American Lawyer" in 2014 for lifetime achievement. It is the most prestigious award that lawyers can receive in the USA. In 2007, Robert Mundheim was decorated with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Professor Mundheim continues to work wholeheartedly in several areas, including legal practice in a law firm in New York, lecturing at the University of Arizona and serving on the boards of several non-profit organizations. Robert Mundheim’s dedication and success are truly inspiring. Therefore, University of Pennsylvania Law School whose Dean he was for many years, has dedicated a Chair of Honour to him.


In 2013, the Mundheim family established a Scholarship of Excellence to be granted to the best student of the Bachelor’s programme in biology or chemistry who continues to study in a Master’s programme. The young biologist Juris Ķibilds and the young chemist Mārtiņš Balodis graduated from the University of Latvia with excellence. The amount of one scholarship is USD 3 500.

At the beginning of 2014, in response of John Medveckis’ initiative, Guna Mundheim donated USD 1 000 to Business Idea Foundation of the UL Student Business Incubator.

In the 2014/2015 academic year, the Mundheim family granted a scholarship to the University of Latvia student Elīna Černooka (EUR 2 700).

In the 2017/2018 academic year, the Mundheim family granted a scholarship to the University of Latvia student Aija Trimdale (EUR 3 000).

In 2017, the family donated EUR 1 201 for construction of the new University of Latvia building – the House of Letters (Latvian: Rakstu māja).

In the 2018/2019 academic year, the scholarship was granted to the University of Latvia student Eva Emīlija Česle (EUR 3 000).

In 2019, the Mundheim family donated to the University of Latvia EUR 3 072.92.

We greatly appreciate the generous support to education and development!

Rubric "A story about ..."