2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
If Wisconsin could be embodied in one person, the state just might look like Harry Spiegelberg. He grew up on a dairy farm west of Appleton, received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the UW in 1959, and went to work for Kimberly-Clark, long one of Wisconsin’s premier corporations, where he spent his entire working career.
Harry’s initial assignment at Kimberly-Clark was in the pulp-engineering department. He soon found that his interest was in research, where he could invent something “new and different and better.” In 1961, he was granted leave from the company to attend the Paper Chemistry Institute in Appleton, where he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees. He returned to Kimberly-Clark as a research scientist. In 1967, he was asked to head the New Concepts Laboratory, a small group at the forefront of consumer product research.
By 1985, Harry had become vice president for Consumer Tissue Research. In 1992, he was named vice president for technology and patent strategy, and in 1993 he became vice president for technology transfer. He retired in 1996.
In his various roles at Kimberly-Clark, Harry considered recruitment of quality employees key to the growth and survival of the company, and recruitment from UW-Madison was his primary focus. To this day, Kimberly-Clark is a major employer of UW graduates.
Harry is a founder and current chair of the executive committee of the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame, a nonprofit organization established to recognize people who have made pre-eminent contributions to the paper industry.