The 20 000 USD donated to the University of Tartu for the commemoration of foreign graduates will be used for furthering the training of coaches
In the beginning of May, the University of Tartu received a donation in the amount of 14 341.93 Euros (20 000 USD) from the United States of America in commemoration of Alma Martin and Eevi Martin Selenoi, graduates of the University of Tartu. The Rectorate decided to use the donation for furthering the training of coaches in the Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences.
The donation was designated for the training of coaches as consumer scientist Alma Martin and nutritional specialist Eevi Martin Selenoi as well as her husband, basketball and swimming coach Alexei Selenoi, had dedicated their professional life to the furthering of healthy lifestyle in Estonia, but also later in the USA.
In 1944, Alma Martin fled from the war with her two daughters Eevi and Ess to Germany, and continued her journey to the United States of America in 1949.
Priit Kaasik, Dean of the Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences considers the donation a great honour and promises to be worthy of the donation and the trust. “A donation is always a good thing and promotes development, but at the same time it must be remembered that it comes with a responsibility and deliberation on the best and most beneficial use of the resources. We have discussed that the donation could be used for supporting the changes in the programme of Physical Education and Sport. We also wish to acknowledge the members of teaching staff who have contributed to the training of coaches.” At the same time, Priit Kaasik finds that the pain spot of teaching and studying coaching is the low appreciation of the profession in the society: “It is a field where coaches have left much undone and I dare to say that many things have been done wrong.”
The donation to the university was made by Martin's family friend living in Cleveland, the United States of America. According ther, the Martins were good friends of hers and she simply wished to preserve their memory.
Alma Leontine Martin (1894-1964) studied agronomy (graduation year 1924) and educational sciences (graduation year 1926) in the University of Tartu after her studies in the Pärnu Gilrls’ Gymnasium and St. Petersburg State Agrarian University. She defended her Master’s thesis in the field of consumer sciences in the University of Iowa in 1927, returning to Estonia soon after. Alma Martin worked as a teacher at the Higher Girls’ School of Farming and Home Economics in Kehtna, in the Social and Home Economics Institute and in the Agricultural Secondary School in the years 1935–1941. She was an advisor in the field of female vocational education at the Ministry of Education. Alma Martin was a member of the American Association of University Women, the Estonian Female Students' Society and the Estonian Scientific Society in America; she was also a founding member of the International Estonian Society.
Eevi Martin Selenoi (1919–2013) studied in the girls’ gymnasium of Tallinn and in the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Tartu in 1937–1940. Eevi Selenoi attended the Social and Home Economics Institute from 1939–1942, where she acquired the vocation of a dietitian. She graduated from the Ohio State University with a Master’s degree in 1954. In 1963–1968, she took additional courses in the Case Western Reserve University. Eevi Martin Selenoi worked as a nutritional specialist in the Huron Hospital, Cleveland until 1982. She was the member of the Estonian Female Students' Society.
Aleksei Selenoi (1905–1982) was first as foremost known as a football coach and the instructor of several teams who became Estonian champions. He was also a judge with of an international category. Aleksei Selenoi left Estonia in 1944. He worked as a swimming coach in the USA.