The patron Kārlis Kaufmanis (19102003) was well-known as the oldest Latvian astronomer, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy of the Latvian extraction in the University of Minnesota (USA).

K. Kaufmanis in 1939 obtained a Bachelor’s degree at the Department of Astronomy of the UL Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and in 1943 earned a Master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Latvia.

Until 1944, when K. Kaufmanis had to leave Latvia as a refugee, he had worked as a teacher in the secondary schools and lyceums of Riga. K. Kaufmanis initially went to Germany, and later to the USA, where he spent his entire working life as a professor in various universities. The main of them was the University of Minnesota, where over 17 years K. Kaufmanis had delivered astronomy lectures to approximately 300 000 students.

K. Kaufmanis won recognition and acclaim in the USA and global academic and scientific community with his lecture on the Star of Bethlehem, in which he explained the events around the birth of Christ described in the Bible from the astronomical viewpoint.  


In 2003, K. Kaufmanis in his will left the University of Latvia USD 100 000. The bequest was intended for promotion of astronomy in Latvia, and the interest generated by this gift is used to grant scholarships to talented students of astronomy.

His dedication to the University says: "May my favourite field of work – the science of astronomy – grow and flourish in Latvia."

In the 2005/2006 academic year, first two scholarships were granted to the students Arturs Barzdis and Juris Kalvāns.

We greatly appreciate the generous support to education and development!