Dr. Lothar Kleiner '78 PhD considers himself fortunate to have earned his doctoral degree from the Polymer Science and Engineering Department (PSE). He says, "My UMass education provided me a strong foundation to pursue opportunities throughout my career in diverse polymer-related industrial fields, including traditional plastic, electronic, pharmaceutical, and medical device." Kleiner credits his thesis advisors, professors William MacKnight and Frank Karasz, for challenging him to become a more confident and independent student.
Recently, after many years of donating to the department, Kleiner designated a portion of his estate to create a scholarship. "I am still closely connected with many of the faculty,” he said, "and want to do my part to help incoming students."
Once fully funded, the Kleiner Family Scholarship will assist first year PS&E students. Kleiner named the Kleiner Family Scholarship in recognition of his parents, who were an important part of his success, and played a special role in his choice to attend UMass. "Professor Otto Vogl, the PS&E admissions director, called my home to inquire about the status of my application,” Kleiner recalls. "Because I was vacationing, Professor Vogl spoke to my mother. They both quickly realized that they could speak with each other in fluent German. After they met over the phone, the decision was made: I would go to UMass Amherst to study polymer science. It ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. I'm happy to assist in providing opportunities for future polymer scientists to attend UMass:”
If you would like to learn more about creating a gift to help a department you care about, contact Chelsea Gwyther at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 577-6422.