University News

MBA Alumnus Funds New Education Scholarship

June 23, 2023

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MACOMB, IL -- A 7500-mile journey from Taiwan to Western Illinois University in the 1970s kick-started Lever Wang's career. That career has now led him back to WIU to create opportunities for future students.

Lever arrived at WIU in 1978, to pursue his master of business administration degree after completing his undergraduate degree at National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan. He was immediately enchanted by the Macomb community and surrounding areas, with particular fondness still today for WIU facilities including Malpass Library, Higgins Hall and Stipes Hall.

Outside the acreage of the WIU campus, Lever built strong connections with many members of the Macomb community and surrounding areas. Lever remembers being welcomed into multiple families' homes, farms, and ranches, and learning how rural community members were involved in the larger global landscape. Building relationships with these families had a profound impact on Lever, ultimately leading him down his career path.

After Lever's first year at WIU, he was hired for a computer-focused position working with the early childhood education area within the WIU School of Education with Dr. Patricia Hutinger. That job in 1979 led to a more than 40-year career in Computer Science and Management Information Systems, including working for companies like Oracle and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Lever was also the founder and president of Derivelt, LLC for more than two decades.

Now retired, Lever lives in Cupertino, CA with his wife, Nina, and is ready to give back to the community that was so impactful to his time as a WIU student. After returning to Macomb for Homecoming 2022, the Wangs worked with WIU College of Arts and Sciences Director of Development Amy Crosby to establish the Lever and Nina Wang Scholarship in Education. The endowed scholarship fund will provide a scholarship every year to an undergraduate student majoring in Early Childhood Education. As a special nod to the families who welcomed Lever to the area in the 1970s, first preference will be given to students from rural communities.

"We are very thankful that Lever and Nina chose to honor Lever's time at WIU by supporting students studying Early Childhood Education. Their generosity and commitment to the success of WIU and our students will have a great impact on the School of Education for years to come," said Crosby, who worked with the Wangs to design their scholarship.

The scholarship will be awarded for the first time for the 2023-2024 school year. The School of Education will select the recipient annually using the criteria the Wangs created.

Additional information about the WIU Early Childhood Education program is available at Details about the For The W comprehensive campaign are available at

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