David Lever

Associate Professor of Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry announces the retirement of Dr. David Lever after 27 years of service to Ohio Wesleyan University. Dave’s expertise extended beyond general and organic chemistry courses to topics such as polymers, color and dye chemistry, and asymmetric organic synthesis. He was committed to undergraduate research, teaching, and the incorporation of extensive instrumentation training within the department’s core curriculum. Dave was an active member of the OWU community through academic advising, recruiting, grant funding, committees, and countless other activities. Most of all, Dave’s dedication to OWU and his students will be his legacy.

Dave graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colgate University in 1986 with a B.A. in chemistry. He continued his education and earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Utah in 1992. After a postdoctoral appointment at Duke University with Michael Pirrung as a human genome distinguished postdoctoral fellow, he joined the Ohio Wesleyan University faculty in 1994.

Dave’s scholarly interests included the biochemistry of feather degrading enzymes and stereo-controlled organic synthesis. He collaborated with other colleagues on projects that supported many students for summer research opportunities both as part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute program and the OWU Summer Science Research Program, working with Allen Pistner. The exceptional instrumentation used in teaching and research in the department is primarily due to Dave’s successful grants. Dave demonstrated his commitment to outreach by participating in SLEUTHS, a summer science camp for underrepresented minority groups, and professionally through publications in top journals and as an integral member of Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society.

Outside of OWU, Dave is a member of the Delaware Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, where he has been an integral member of their community. Additionally, since 2011, Dave has renewed his love of running and has since run 25 races at the marathon and ultra-marathon distance. He has helped pace friends and former students to personal bests at the marathon and half-marathon distances. In retirement, Dave plans to split time between Ohio and Durango, Colorado, where he will continue working on his lifetime list of Rocky Mountain summits and running trails.

Dave has been a trusted mentor to both faculty and students, known to give hours to anyone who needed his help. Fond words from some former students demonstrate his ideals best: “Dr. Lever – You were my advisor throughout my time at OWU. Thank you for helping set me up for success.” “I have never met anyone in my life (still!) who multitasks quite as well as Dr. Lever.” “The memories made me laugh, smile, and reminisce about how such challenging classes could be made so much fun by the professors who taught them. Thank you for everything, and best of luck on your retirement!”

Department Contact Info


Office of the Provost
University Hall 108
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3100
F 740-368-3374
E provost@owu.edu