“We learned early in life that you help each other.”

16 April 2024

“When students can’t complete their entire education, it is such a loss,” says Margery Gaede, ’65 Dip(NU), ’66 Dip(PHNU), ’67 BScN.

That’s why Margery and her husband, Harry Gaede, ’69 LLB, ’66 BA, help students by supporting student awards, bursaries and other programs at the University of Alberta’s Augustana and North Campuses.

Their degrees from the U of A have led both of them to rewarding careers. Margery taught nursing at the University of British Columbia after receiving her master’s degree there and subsequently taught nursing at the University of Alberta. Harry practiced law and was appointed as a provincial court judge.

Through her teaching career in nursing and psychology, Margery saw students work hard at part-time jobs to fund their education. “Some of them dropped out because they and their parents couldn’t afford to continue. Maybe they’d get a first degree, but they would have loved to do graduate work but couldn’t, unless they got good scholarships. Even with scholarships, some still couldn’t complete their education,” she says.

Margery and Harry were both encouraged by their parents to pursue an education, as neither of their parents could. They’ve also ensured that their grandchildren – of whom they have eight – can complete their education debt-free.

These days, they are devoted to paying their gratitude forward and helping others—especially students and programs at the U of A. 

“When I was young in Calgary, my parents were part of a Danish Canadian community. And it was modelled that everybody helped each other out,” says Harry. He explains that his grandparents were very poor. Their survival during the Depression depended on the assistance of others. “We learned early on that you help each other.”

They’ve also been longtime supporters of Augustana and its students. Harry also created an endowed award, named after him and his late wife, Betty Gaede, to support Augustana music students.

And through estate planning, they’re ensuring that their grandchildren are well taken care of in the future. They’ve also generously provided a percentage of their estate to causes they believe in, including Augustana.

Their philanthropic legacy will have a profound and lasting impact, long into the future.