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Sisters’ Gift Will Help Generations of Students

They were two sisters who spent their lives together in Victoria and were known among friends for always helping others. They’ve left a gift that will help hundreds of students at the University of Victoria for years to come.

Clara and Elsa Fagerberg left a bequest of more than $500,000 to UVic, establishing the “Elsa and Clara Fagerberg Endowment Fund” for scholarships and bursaries. The seed was planted when friends Erik and Florence Davis had a son attending UVic.

“Both of the women were so pleased that he was at UVic and received scholarships,” she says. “They were very proud of our kids.”

Kayla Stevenson, director of development and gift planning for UVic, says this kind of support for student scholarships and bursaries is crucial, both for helping students in financial need and rewarding scholastic achievement.

“A lot of students don’t have the money to finish school. Bursaries often enable them to stay in school and keep the flow of education going, instead of having to drop out for a year and work” she says. “Scholarships, on the other hand, are a recognition of scholastic ability and hard work. It’s a really important thing to reward students for their accomplishments.”

In a typical year, UVic students will receive scholarships and bursaries totalling $2 million, but this barely touches the need for student awards.

The Davis family and the Fagerberg family had been good friends since the 1940s, when they met through the Victoria Swedish Club.

“They spent every Christmas and every birthday with our family,” says Davis.

The Fagerberg family moved to Saanich from Winnipeg in 1912. Both Clara and Elsa attended Strawberry Vale School, Victoria High and then Sprott-Shaw Business School.

“They saw the university when it was an army camp,” says Davis.

The sisters particularly enjoyed car trips and camping. They travelled all over the U.S. and Canada, and loved attending the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Davis recalls that Elsa, who was younger than Clara, never took the driver’s seat.

“Elsa would always say, ‘Clara’s the pilot and I’m the navigator.’”

Clara and Elsa Fagerberg

Alumni President's Message | Feature | Ringside | Alumni Profiles | Keeping in Touch | Vox Alumni

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