Philanthropy: The happiest time of her life

1 December 2020

This philanthropy column by Donald Tillman was first published in ETH Zurich’s Globe Magazine in December 2020.

Recently, the ETH Foundation got the chance to talk to alumna Dr Susan Richards about the legacy left by her mother, Ursula Himmel-Glarner. Listening to Richards talk about her mother affected me deeply, particularly as the father of a daughter who recently started school.

Ursula Himmel-Glarner attended ETH at a time when few women had the opportunity to enter higher education. She always referred to her pharmacy studies as the happiest time of her life. It wasn’t until later in life, after many years as a full-time housewife and mother, that she worked as a pharmacist.

Yet her belief in the importance of a good education, especially for women, never wavered. That’s why Ursula Himmel-Glarner supported the ETH Zurich Foundation for so many years, right up until her death in 2019. She also left a provision in her will to maintain this commitment in the future by supporting outstanding female Master’s students. We hope her legacy will help as many scholarship recipients as possible fulfil their career goals.