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WIU Alumni Council President Establishes President Huang International Student Scholarship

August 22, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University international students have new scholarship opportunities at WIU, thanks to the efforts of 2005 and 2010 alumnus Matthew Toland.

Toland, who serves as the WIU Alumni Council president, recently established the President Huang International Student Scholarship to honor the inauguration of Guiyou Huang as WIU's 12th president.
Efforts to establish the scholarship began in April 2022 during the Western Challenge annual day of giving. During that event, multiple donors contributed funds toward the new scholarship, including several members of the WIU Board of Trustees. Toland issued a matching challenge, offering to double the first $1,000 in contributions to the fund. The challenge was quickly met and several thousand was raised.

"The reason why I donated to the Huang International Student Scholarship is because it screams 'inclusion,'" said Kisha Lang, secretary of the WIU Board of Trustees and a WIU alumna. "This is a great way to improve our capacity as a state school in Macomb and let the world know that we are in the business of educating all people, no matter where they are from on the map. We believe that all people deserve the right to be educated by high quality professors."

According to Toland, who earned degrees in women's studies and museum studies, the main motivation for focusing on international student support relates to one of Huang's presidential priorities, internationalization. With a goal of increasing the number of international students at WIU, Toland added this scholarship was a perfect fit.

"I love President Huang's goal to increase the number of international students at WIU and I wanted to find a way to honor him for his inauguration as well as help him reach his goal," Toland explained. "This scholarship will provide aid to international students who need funds to continue their education."

Amy Crosby, director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences, worked with Toland to select the criteria for the scholarship and finalize details.

"International students are an important part of the WIU community and this scholarship does a great job of honoring them and President Huang," Crosby shared. "By providing additional financial support, this scholarship will help international students transition to life at WIU and have a successful college experience."

Huang shared his appreciation for the scholarship and the additional support for advancing university initiatives.

"I am honored to have an international scholarship established in my name by Matthew. I arrived in the U.S. from China to continue my studies as a doctoral student, and I understand the importance of scholarship support," Huang said. "Some of my key priorities are to further diversify our University and to grow our international student enrollment. By providing additional scholarship support, we can continue to reach these goals and provide opportunities for an accessible education to students from all corners of the globe."

The scholarship will be awarded for the first time during the 2022-23 academic year. Staff from the Center for Global Studies will select recipients based on the scholarship's criteria.

Funds continue to be raised to endow this new scholarship. Individuals interested in supporting the President Huang International Student Scholarship can make contributions online at

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