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Catherine Ballou Kleiner 


given by Heather and Scott Kleiner

Catherine Ballou Kleiner was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1966 to Heather and Scott Kleiner. Her mother, Heather, is one of the Founders of the Jeannette Rankin Foundation. Catherine grew up in Athens, Georgia where her father taught as a professor at the University of Georgia. She enjoyed playing sports and was the most valuable player for her high school and college soccer teams. She attended Wellesley College and received her Bachelor’s in Philosophy. She went on to pursue her Master’s in African American Studies at Duke University and finally, her PhD in Women’s History at the University of New Mexico. That same year she completed her doctoral degree, Dr. Kleiner was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Unable to pursue a career in college teaching, she gave talks and lectures in and around Athens until she was no longer mobile.

Throughout her adult life, she was an avid feminist and supporter of lesbian rights. Although Multiple Sclerosis made her disabled, she never let go of her sense of humor and always maintained her commitment to supporting women for many years. In her memory, her parents, Heather and Scott Kleiner, created the Catherine Ballou Kleiner Fund. They are proud to recognize her ongoing and enthusiastic commitment to women and their education through this Endowed Scholar Grant.