Vincent Naimoli, chairman of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, received the outstanding alumnus award at NJIT’s Celebration 2007. The annual black-tie event, held earlier last month at the Somerset Palace, drew 300 supporters and raised almost $400,000 to support endowed scholarship funds for NJIT students. Since 1995, this gala evening of dinner and dancing has raised nearly $3 million. Celebration honors individuals for achievements of great benefit to New Jersey and the nation, and organizations that have been exceptional in their commitment to the university's mission.
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Naimoli has focused on the game’s welfare while building a franchise from within. In addition to serving on Major League Baseball’s committees for international relations, legislative affairs and equal opportunity, he was named in January of 1999 to a blue ribbon task force on baseball economics. The recommendations from the group addressed longstanding problems.
As chief executive officer of Anchor Industries International, Naimoli was voted 1995 Florida Entrepreneur of the Year in the “turnaround” category. In 1999, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. Other past winners of that award include Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Senator John Glenn and late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. On May 8, 2004, Naimoli was inducted into the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame and was recently chosen as an Honorary Chief Master Sergeant at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
He has extensively participated in advisory groups and fund-raising initiatives at NJIT, where he is a member of NJIT’s Board of Overseers, as well as at the University of Notre Dame and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Additionally, Vince has received numerous community-service honors and is involved in many charitable projects, including a program to revive baseball in the inner cities and the establishment of the team’s own charitable foundation called the Tampa Bay Rays of Hope Foundation.
Naimoli graduated from NJIT in 1962 with a master of science in mechanical engineering. He holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master of business administration degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has four daughters and three grandchildren.
For more than 125 years, the institution historically known as New Jersey Institute of Technology has enabled talented young men and women to embark on careers in a broad range of technological, scientific and design fields. Generations of NJIT alumni have risen to prominence in the private and public sectors, realizing their full promise as leaders and innovators. NJIT is dedicated to making this opportunity available to as many outstanding applicants as possible, regardless of their financial circumstances. With the assistance of concerned supporters who share this vision for the future, NJIT will continue to nurture the aspirations of students whose personal success is vital for the well-being of our home state, and nation as a whole and the global community.