The Alumni Service Award honors an individual who demonstrates continuous, selfless commitment to and devoted enthusiasm for Illinois Institute of Technology through involvement in various areas of the university including, but not limited to, recruitment, support, service, and leadership.
B.S. Civil Engineering (’79), Illinois Institute of Technology; M.B.A. (’84), Roosevelt University
Karp began his career at Del E. Webb Corporation as a project engineer for the Chicago office, where he quickly progressed for the next five years before accepting a project manager position at Power Construction. “Power was a small but growing company, so I had lots of opportunities for increased responsibility and leadership,” he says. Over the next 29 years he rose through the ranks, serving as executive vice president, president, and most recently CEO. “Power is a family-owned business, but their decision to allow the company to be run by and share ownership with non-family members say a lot about the family and company,” he says. “Owning a piece of the business gives you a sense of attachment, the idea that you’re not just doing this for the family, you’re actually a part of it.”
Karp is a member of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees and has been volunteering at the university for more than 30 years. In 1986 he led the rejuvenation of the Friends of Stuart School Power Luncheon, an effort started by past Power Construction CEO and Illinois Tech trustee Al Gorman to raise the visibility of Stuart School of Business in the Chicago business community. The effort introduced countless business leaders to the university while bringing in scholarship dollars. Karp is also a member of the Stuart School of Business Board of Advisors and the Advisory Board of the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering as well as a past member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. He and his wife, Molly, established a scholarship fund to benefit students majoring in civil engineering.
Harvey Kahalas, past Stuart School of Business dean, nominated Karp for his “more than 30 years of leadership, service, and support at the department, college, alumni volunteer, and trustee level.” David Arditi, professor of civil and architectural engineering, supports Kahalas’s nomination, saying, “For the past 20 years, Jeff has helped formulate strategies and initiatives to make sure our professors and students are prepared for what the construction industry needs from the school and our graduates.”
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