Ohio State Dental Journal

Jeffrey Kleinman, ’76 DDS, and Yana Kaz-Kleinman, DMD, Give $2 Million to Transform Postle Hall

Ohio State’s College of Dentistry was in a state of change when Jeffrey Kleinman, ’76 DDS, began his dental studies in the early 1970’s. Dr. Kleinman’s class was the first to shift to the short-lived three-year degree program—an experience not without growing pains, as classes of 200-plus students competed for limited space to meet graduation requirements. Through the years, Dr. Kleinman has noted positive changes in the college, such as the enthusiasm of its leadership and the support for students that has helped graduates to be better prepared than ever. “I am so impressed with our graduates,” Dr. Kleinman notes, having supervised them as a part of his participation in the college’s Oral Health Improvement through Outreach (OHIO) Project.

“This will be a first-class facility that can keep up with advances in  educational and patient care technologies. Patients will benefit and so will the young dentists who will come out of school with more confidence,” -- Dr. Jeffrey Kleinman

The one thing that has barely changed since his time at Ohio State? Postle Hall, the college’s home for the past 67 years. From outdated décor to more serious challenges presented by an archaic structure, the Postle Hall replacement project is something Dr. Kleinman feels strongly about. After decades of practicing general dentistry in Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Kleinman is giving back in a big way to help make a transformation happen.

The $2 million gift from Dr. Kleinman and his wife, Dr. Yana Kaz-Kleinman, will name the college’s new large, flat-floor, technologically-advanced classroom. The gift commemorates his own exceptional Ohio State education, while creating a modern learning environment for future generations of dental hygiene and dental students, faculty, and staff.

A life-changing education

Following his graduation from Miami University of Ohio in 1973, Dr. Kleinman chose Ohio State’s College of Dentistry for his professional dental education. It’s a decision he has never regretted. “I’ve been very fortunate and I attribute it all to my dental school education,” Dr. Kleinman said. He received prestigious Alpha Omega scholarships, won an award from the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, and was a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon.

In particular, Dr. Kleinman credits his year-long dental anesthesiology training at Ohio State with preparing him for his career. “I learned about medicine, general anesthesia, and dentistry, while traveling around the state to help practices with their dental anesthesia needs.”

Giving back to the college and the profession

What’s it like to donate $2 million to Ohio State? “Fantastic,” said Dr. Kleinman. “I talked to my attorney and the college’s Development Office and decided I wanted to do something while I was alive. It’s been really rewarding.”

Dr. Kleinman is now a member of Ohio State’s Oval Society, which honors the top philanthropic leaders. He has met Ohio State President Michael Drake, MD, and Provost Bruce McPheron, PhD, and was honored on the field at Ohio Stadium during halftime at the Tulane game this fall. “You can’t help but be enthusiastic about this. It’s not just a matter of writing a check and being done with it. They are very appreciative.”

Dr. Yana Kaz-Kleinman, who earned her DMD from the University of Pittsburgh, has also enjoyed the strong connection with her husband’s alma mater. “At the groundbreaking for the renovation earlier this summer, Yana stood beside President Drake, the provost, and dean, and she was so proud,” Dr. Kleinman said.

Most of all, Dr. Kleinman and Dr. Kaz-Kleinman are pleased that their gift will make an impact on the dental profession in Ohio and beyond. “This will be a first-class facility that can keep up with advances in educational and patient care technologies. Patients will benefit and so will the young dentists who will come out of school with more confidence,” Dr. Kleinman said. The couple’s gift will impact Ohio State and the dental profession. “We need dentists throughout Ohio,” Dr. Kleinman added. “There is a shortage in some areas. I’m hopeful that Ohio State can help to address that issue.”

To date, the Kleinmans’ donation is one of the two largest gifts to the building campaign. Dr. Kleinman encourages other alumni to consider a gift—no matter the size—to support the project. “I think Ohio State deserves a top-notch facility and it will help all of us in the long run. We need to consider how our dental degrees have enabled us to prosper and give as much as possible to this great cause.”