The Lybecker Institute was established by Sofia Lybecker, née Franzen (1816-1847). She was from a wealthy family of traders in Raahe. Her mother died when she was ten years old, and she inherited a significant amount of money. According to the law at that time, she had no right to use the money as she pleased: the wealth of an unmarried daughter was controlled by her father and, upon marriage, her husband.
From early on, Sofia knew exactly how to use her inheritance. She wanted to establish a school for girls without means to learn reading, writing, maths and craftsmanship to earn their living. Sofia’s vision was bold and innovative. In those days, teaching the poor was generally considered to be a waste of time.
Sofia’s father took a negative stance towards her plan to establish a school. She therefore needed to find a fiancé who would approve of her idea. As the daughter of a wealthy family, she had a long line of suitors but no one who would accept the condition she set. Eventually, at a ball, Sofia met Lieutenant Colonel Georg Henrik Lybecker, who was visiting Raahe. He accepted her idea to establish a school.
Sofia Franzen and Georg Henrik Lybecker signed the donation and establishment deed of the Lybecker School for Girls on their wedding day on 14 February 1843. As stipulated in the deed, the school started its operations within exactly one year.