The late Ludvik Pahulje Sr. (LLD '03) grew up in the rural village of Rakitnica, Slovenia. His personal experience with war and its hardships in the 1940s prompted him to escape. He immigrated to Canada with only a handful of personal belongings, and the hope of new and better opportunities.
Ludvik Sr. eventually settled in Lethbridge and, together with his wife Danica, raised four children: Dani, Majda, Ludvik and Bernadette. Neither parent had any formal education but both knew they wanted more for their children.
"Education is important," emphasizes Danica. "We didn't have that opportunity growing up, and that's why it was so important to offer that experience to our family."
Believing books to be the foundation of any educational experience, Ludvik Sr. and Danica encouraged their children to use the public library and made regular visits part of the family's routine. For this reason, giving to the library seemed like a natural choice for Mr. Pahulje Sr., who began supporting the University Library in 1989.
"The library is the hub of a university," says Ludvik. "My parents always thought that, and as students we told them that.
I think a really good library at a university is a reflection of the university as a whole."
The Pahuljes continued giving to the library, and in 1997 the Pahulje Endowment was formally established. This fund supports the ongoing acquisition of reading and resource materials.
"The library has such a broad application; it helps the students but it also helps the faculty," says Ludvik. "Everyone benefits from the library."
Although Ludvik Sr. passed away in June, his family plans to maintain the endowment. The continued support of the Pahulje family demonstrates a commitment to education and truly reflects the legacy left by Ludvik Sr.
"We're not doing this just because of my father and mother," explains Ludvik. "It's also our wish. My sisters and I feel that this is a worthwhile cause and that's why we continue to donate."