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Dean's Circle

Distinguished Donor Spotlight ~ David Lipien

Mike Brown Coming to the United States from Europe (Poland) after WWII with very little money in their pocket, a young family had a dream for a better life. It's the start of a classic immigrant story. David Lipien's parents' dream included the best education for their children. So when David started looking at colleges, he chose NIU. It had the right mix of size, program, location, and cost — a natural fit for him. NIU's mid-size campus provided him the confidence and most importantly, an opportunity to succeed.

During his college days, David worked as a teaching assistant and Manager of the Northern Star — opportunities he feels he may not have gotten on a larger, more urban campus. He was also an active member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.

In 1998, David graduated with a degree in Operations Management and Information Systems (OM&IS) and began work at AT&T and then IBM, managing technology projects for global delivery. Along the way, he earned an MBA from Notre Dame, a Certification in Project Management and completed courses for an Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School. He also published a variety of articles on IT and business. Currently, he's employed at Microsoft. Clearly, David was driven by the goals of an immigrant family, instilled in him and grounded by education.

Because NIU was such a great springboard for David, he gives back. "Some alumni don't know how to help. I just asked," says David. "I give money, time and resources." Indeed he does. As an Advisory Board member and active participant in alumni activities, David is a wonderful partner to the NIU College of Business. Much like his career has progressed, David would like to see his resources go toward elevating NIU's brand and reputation. Many of his counterparts hire NIU graduates because they have a great work-ethic developed by a great school full of hard working and deserving students. David would like NIU to be top of mind for students who are on the fence deciding where to attend. It was an easy choice for David, one that began in the glimmer of an idea in the heart of an immigrant family coming to America.