A Kimberly family tradition, a long-standing partnership


Kelly B. Smith, RBI, Marketing & Communication

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Kimberly family members visit RBI

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  • Kimberly Family Kimberly Family

Rick Kimberly and his father, Richard Hardin Kimberly, are well versed in the paper industry, and their rich family tradition continues today with support of RBI, even though the Kimberly family no longer leads the company that holds their name – Kimberly Clark.

Both men appreciate the history that links their family to a major industrial sector of the United States. On a recent visit to the Renewable Bioproducts Institute, they got an inside look at how that industry is evolving with an eye toward the future, even as a portrait of John Alfred Kimberly, Rick’s great, great grandfather, hangs in the Paper Tricentennial Building.

Their tour included hearing from both faculty and students about the transformation of the pulp and paper industry and the evolution of research in the past decade at RBI.

An early pioneer of the paper industry, John A. Kimberly founded the company in 1872 along with Charles Clark and two others. The company was the leading producer of paper in the Midwest by 1880 and built Kimberly Mill that same year, developing the town of Kimberly, WI.

The history of RBI, or the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST), formerly Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC), essentially runs parallel to that of Kimberly Clark and they have been intertwined since the formation of IPC, when Ernst Mahler, vice president of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, served as a founding trustee in 1929. The Insistute was located in Appleton, WI, where Kimberly and Clark had formed Atlas Paper Co., the first of its mills in the small town.

Kimberly Clark remains a member company of RBI today, and the Kimberly family maintains a close relationship with the Institute.

Additional Information


Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI)

Institute Leadership, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Special Events and Guest Speakers, Engineering
Related Core Research Areas
Renewable Bioproducts
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Kimberly, Paper, PSE, RBI
  • Created By: Kelly Smith
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 22, 2015 - 12:03pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:19pm