With profound sorrow, we announce the passing of UWC Costa Rica’s long-time, special benefactor, Per Grieg Sr.
With profound sorrow, we announce the passing of UWC Costa Rica’s long-time, special benefactor, Per Grieg Sr. It was through his advocacy and initial funding that UWC Costa Rica was created from an SOS Children’s Village High School. That support has only deepened over the years. His life and his legacy are an inspiration for us all.
Per Grieg Sr. was born in Bergen in January 1932. He came from a long and proud maritime tradition. The Grieg family has lived by and of the ocean since 1884. After completing his degree in marine engineering, Per joined the family shipbroking firm in 1961. He expanded and transformed the Grieg Group into a leading international business within the maritime industry, operating within seafood, shipping, shipbroking, maritime innovation, logistics, and investment.
Today, the Grieg Group has more than 1,600 colleagues worldwide. Per Grieg Sr. led the Grieg Group until 1999 when he handed over the business to his four children.
Per was a philanthropist with an urge to make a difference and create a more compassionate society. He founded the Grieg Foundation in 2002 and ran the Foundation until 2020. Per was an active member of the Board until his passing. The Grieg Foundation has contributed more than 1 billion Norwegian kroner to charitable causes, nationally and internationally. He had a lifelong commitment and engagement to the Foundation’s main purpose, to support children and young people's opportunity to create a better future.
Per was also a pillar and a major contributor to the cultural city of Bergen, for which he received the Royal Order of St. Olav. Per’s tireless dedication to business and society has had an immense impact. He has left everlasting footprints in Bergen, the city he loved and lived in throughout his life and the world, especially through his engagement with SOS Children’s Villages.
The Grieg Foundation, under the leadership of Mr. Grieg, was critically instrumental in the founding and funding of UWC Costa Rica through those important foundational years. Over 1,300 alums’ education has as its cornerstone the belief and faith of Per Grieg Sr. and the Foundation in UWC Costa Rica. In addition, in 2015, the Foundation played a crucial role in conversations with SOS International, who donated the current UWC Costa Rica campus property in Santa Ana. Most recently, the Foundation has underscored the importance of expanding our Latin American and Caribbean student support by sponsoring three cohorts of 9 Grieg Foundation Scholars who have received inclusive scholarships to attend UWC Costa Rica. Furthermore, The Grieg Foundation is a proud major supporter of the New Campus project for UWC Costa Rica and continues to partner with us to meet both organizations' missions further.
It has been said that “the measure of a life is the love you leave behind when you’re gone.” Per lived his life in full measure. Per was a warm, wise human being who enriched and inspired us all. We have lost a dear colleague, a leader, and a friend. We extend our deepest condolences and compassion to the Grieg family, who mourns the loss of a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather. May peace and blessings shine upon his memory.
Mauricio Viales and Susan Mullins