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Mont Alto gets $500,000 donation

November 21, 1997

Mont Alto gets $500,000 donation

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

MONT ALTO, Pa. - An alumnus of Penn State Mont Alto, saying he wanted to repay the institution that gave him his start, gave the school $500,000 for an endowed scholarship fund for nontraditional students.

The gift was announced Thursday by David Goldenberg, chief executive officer of the campus, at the school's scholarship donor-recipient reception.

Goldenberg said the donation from Dr. Albert Kligman and Dr. Lorraine Kligman was the largest given to the school in its 94-year history.

Albert Kligman is emeritus professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania.

The son of immigrant parents, he attended Penn State Mont Alto on a forestry scholarship in 1935-36. He was the first in his family to attend college. He graduated from Penn State in 1939 with a biology degree and earned a doctorate in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania.

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He gained international fame for inventing Retin-A, an anti-wrinkle cream used to treat acne, Goldenberg said. He also discovered the simple test that all physicians use to diagnose fungus disease on the skin and nails.

Lorraine Kligman is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Also a dermatologist, she completed the first series of studies to show how the sun damages skin. The scholarship is for adult students because Lorraine Kligman returned to school as an adult, Goldenberg said.

"This will help adult learners who need money to return to college," he said.

The Kligmans are lecturing in India and were not at the reception.

Samual Topper, 19, of East Berlin, Pa., a Mont Alto freshman, was one of four students who spoke about the scholarships. He said the $2,400 he received this year saved his education.

"I would not be here if I didn't have it," he said.

Topper grew up with his younger brother in a single-parent household run by his mother.

"I always wanted to go to college, to be the first in my generation on either side to go. I had A's and B's in high school and was in the gifted program, but I had no financial resources," he said.

He enrolled at Mont Alto and hoped for the best. The scholarship came through just as he was about to leave because he couldn't pay his tuition. He wants to go to the main Penn State campus next year and finish his degree in forestry.

Topper works part time at a supermarket at home and commutes 72 miles round-trip. He said he'll struggle through on loans, grants and hopefully more scholarships.

"Someday I want to be on the other side and be able to offer a scholarship to someone else who needs it," he said.

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