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The Louis and Dorothy Laubenthal Memorial Scholarship awarded to Mason City native

December 15, 2014

A scholarship that honors an Iowa family’s three generations of commitment to higher education has been awarded to a Mason City, Iowa, student.

First-year University of Iowa Doctor of Physical Therapy student Nathan R. Kleckner has been named the 2014-2015 recipient of the Louis and Dorothy Laubenthal Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, established in 2011, commemorates the Laubenthals’ belief in the value of education by providing financial assistance to a first-year student in the University of Iowa Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.

Louis and Dorothy Laubenthal were born and raised in Emmetsburg, Iowa. They had very limited educational opportunities while growing up in rural Iowa in the early 1900’s. Though they were academically gifted, family considerations required them to enter the workforce and forego higher education.

Neither Louis nor Dorothy received recognition for their belief in the importance of education during their lifetimes. Now, thanks to the generosity of their grandson, Chris Laubenthal, this scholarship provides that recognition and memorializes the Laubenthals’ belief in the importance of education. The scholarship—the only of its kind in a department currently ranked second nationally by U.S.News & World Report among public institutions—is awarded to a student in their first year of study toward a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Kleckner says he’s thankful for the Laubenthal family’s commitment to supporting students.

“I am truly grateful to the Laubenthal family for this award,” says Kleckner. “It is an honor, and it will help reduce the financial burden of pursuing my degree.”

The Laubenthal family has deep ties with the university and the UI Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. Chris Laubenthal’s father, Nick Laubenthal, and his step-mother, Karla S. Laubenthal, both built successful careers in University of Iowa Health Care and mentored numerous students within the department of physical therapy and rehabilitation science. Nick Laubenthal earned his B.S. degree, physical therapy certification, and M.A. degree from the UI. Chris Laubenthal received B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from the UI and shares his grandparents’ belief in the value of education.

About the University of Iowa Foundation

The University of Iowa Foundation’s mission is to advance the University of Iowa and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa. For more information about the foundation and the campaign, visit the foundation website.