Advancement & Public Services

Lowell & Lois LueckLu eck

Lowell and Lois Lueck enjoy a rich and rewarding retirement. Following Lowell’s career in public school administration and as director of Western Illinois University’s Institutional Research and Lois’ 19 years as a junior/senior high guidance director, each has carried over their ethic of work and service into their retirement.

Both Lowell and Lois are active in the Macomb community, heavily involved in Trinity Lutheran Church and the Western Illinois Museum. Lowell is a member of the Macomb Lion’s Club and serves on the Board of the Western Illinois Regional Council. Lois tutors through the Spoon River College Literacy Program.

The Luecks recently established a scholarship specifically for non-traditional students in teacher education programs at Western Illinois University. Not only were both Lowell and Lois non-traditional students while pursuing their advanced degrees, each of their three children have also been non-traditional students at some point during their careers. The scholarship will award $1,000 annually to a full-time undergraduate or graduate student over the age of 25 demonstrating financial need and pursuing teacher education.

Many of these students are balancing work and family responsibilities with the demands of school. Financial pressures are often a factor in this delicate balance. “We muddled through,” say both Lowell and Lois, “but if we can help someone in this position at this point in our lives, that’s what we would like to do.”

Lowell worked his first year out of high school, attended college for two years, then joined the Army and later finished his education through the G.I. bill, eventually earning a masters and doctorate degrees. According to Lowell, “having been a non-traditional student while completing a masters and doctorate, I understand the need many students have for financial assistance.” Lois adds “during our early years in Macomb, I was in graduate school with three small children, so I have experienced the struggle of pursuing an education while juggling many other responsibilities.”

The Luecks have a great affinity for Western even though each earned degrees at other institutions. “We established our home here, Lowell worked at Western, and this is where our loyalties are,” said Lois. “Lois and I earned master’s degrees at Western, our children grew up here and two of them, Diane and David, received degrees from Western as well,” added Lowell.

The Luecks tradition of support to Western is well established. Lowell served as the Assistant Director, then Director, of Institutional Research and Planning from 1969 to 1993, during which time he made numerous professional and volunteer contributions to the school. Their philanthropic practice is also extensive: in 1993 they established the Lois and Lowell Lueck Reading Fund for the College of Education and Human Services. The purpose of the fund is to promote new ideas and methods for the improvement and teaching of reading in the Western Illinois region. The fund acquires materials and makes them available for preservice and inservice educators. Additionally, the Luecks have for many years supported the WIU Library, Tri States Public Radio, Western Athletic Club, Performing Arts Society, and the College of Fine Arts and Communication. They were also inaugural donors to the President’s Scholarship Fund, established in 2006.

“Together, Lowell and Lois have made two very thoughtful and generous gifts to assist Western’s preparation of education professionals. First the Lueck Reading Fund, and now the Lueck Non-Traditional Scholarship for students in teacher education,” said Director of Planned and Major Gifts Brad Bainter. “Their commitment to education, to helping students, and to many Western initiatives is admirable, and we are grateful to be the recipient of their generosity.”

“The Luecks are symbolic of what makes Western great,” added Vice President for Advancement and Public Services Dan Hendricks. “One time students, one long time employee, two mindful citizens giving of their time and personal resources. Their general and very specific contributions enhance the quality of a Western education.”