The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed posthumously on an individual who has recently passed away and who, during his or her life, achieved personal success, made an outstanding contribution to his or her chosen field of endeavor, and achieved recognition by his or her colleagues.
B.S. Mechanical Engineering (’74), Illinois Institute of Technology; M.B.A. (’82), Illinois Institute of Technology
Growney spent 36 years at Motorola and held a variety of managerial positions during his long tenure at the company, retiring as president, chief operating officer, and vice chairman of Motorola, Inc. in 2002. At Motorola Growney worked to recruit and hire many Illinois Tech engineering and business graduates, continuing a long tradition of partnerships. Not one to let retirement slow him down, he then became a partner at the private equity firm Edgewater Funds, where he served as an advisor and dealmaker, remaining active in the business until he passed away in 2016. Additionally, Growney was director of Isabella Products, Inc. and Alion Science and Technology Corporation, a company affiliated with IIT Research Institute.
Growney was a longtime supporter of Illinois Tech and Stuart School of Business. He joined the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees in 1997, accepting the honor of life trustee in 2009, and was a past member of the Executive Committee. He was also a member of the Stuart School Board of Advisors and served as chair until 2008. Growney actively counseled university leadership on many matters and was instrumental in the revitalization of the Stuart School, even serving as the school’s commencement speaker in 2003. An advocate of any activity that enhanced innovation through design concepts, Growney also worked with Institute of Design faculty to further develop the institute’s name recognition as a leader in its field.
John F. O. Bilson, Stuart School of Business John and Mae Calamos Dean Endowed Chair, nominated Growney with the support of past dean Harvey Kahalas and Rosemarie Mitchell, who served on the Stuart School Board of Advisors with Growney. “Bob’s commitment to his alma mater was manifested in many outstanding ways,” says Kahalas. “Coupled with his spectacular business career, Bob was an example of an outstanding alumnus that any university would wish to have as a graduate.” Mitchell agrees, adding, “Bob was a remarkable person and an extraordinary advocate for Illinois Tech. His contributions are an indelible part of the university’s history.”
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Register for the 2017 Alumni Awards luncheon and ceremony.
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