Alum Creates a Scholarship for Students
Dr. Lothar Kleiner considers himself fortunate to have graduated from the UMass Amherst Polymer Science and Engineering Department (PS&E) in 1978.
"My UMass education provided me a strong foundation to pursue opportunities throughout my career in very diverse polymer-related industrial fields including traditional plastic, electronic, pharmaceutical and medical device," says Lothar.
In addition to his academic training, Lothar credits his thesis advisors, Professors William MacKnight and Frank Karasz, for challenging him to become a more confident and independent student.
After many years of donating to the Polymer Science and Engineering department, Lothar recently made the decision to designate a portion of his estate to create a Polymer Science scholarship. Commenting on this decision, Lothar states, "I am still closely connected with many of the faculty, and want to do my part to help incoming students."
Once fully funded, the Kleiner Family Scholarship will assist first-year Polymer Science and Engineering students. Lothar chose the name the "Kleiner Family Scholarship" in recognition of his parents, who were an important part of his success, and played a special role in his ability to attend UMass.
"Professor Otto Vogl, the PS&E admissions director, called my home to inquire about the status of my application. Because I was vacationing in Austria, 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 help provide opportunities for future polymer scientists to also attend UMass Amherst."