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Two University of Iowa Students Awarded the Louis and Dorothy Laubenthal Memorial Scholarship

November 13, 2015

A scholarship fund that honors an Iowa family’s three generations of commitment to higher education has been awarded to two students from Iowa City and Spencer, Iowa

First-year University of Iowa Doctor of Physical Therapy students Katherine Bird and Clare Goeken have been named the 2015-2016 recipients of the Louis and Dorothy Laubenthal Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, established in 2011, commemorates the Laubenthal’s belief in the value of education by providing financial assistance to first-year students 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 1900s. Though they were academically gifted, family considerations required them to enter the workforce and forego higher education.

Thanks to the generosity of Louis and Dorothy’s grandson, Chris Laubenthal, this scholarship has been established to recognize the Laubenthal’s belief in the importance of education. The scholarship—the only of its kind in a department currently ranked fourth nationally by U.S.News & World Report among public institutionsis awarded to students in their first year of study toward a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Both Katharine Bird, who is from Iowa City, Iowa, and Clare Goeken, who is from Spencer, Iowa, graduated from their designated colleges with honors and are excited to begin their journey in the physical therapy program.

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 UI and UI Foundation are conducting a historic comprehensive $1.7 billion fundraising campaign, For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa, which will secure the UI’s status as a world-class institution for future generations.

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 at

Contacts: Dana Larson, UI Foundation, 319-467-3661