The Alumni Medal honors distinguished service to the university by alumni who have displayed the qualities of the Collens Merit Award, Alumni Service Award, and Professional Achievement Award. This is the highest honor bestowed by the Illinois Institute of Technology Alumni Association.
B.S. Electrical Engineering (’70), Illinois Institute of Technology; M.B.A. (’74), Loyola University Chicago
After earning his degree from Illinois Tech, Nemcek joined Motorola and held a wide variety of engineering and business management positions in the company. For more than three decades, his career spanned domestic and international responsibilities in product design, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and overall business management. “Going to Motorola from Illinois Tech was a dream come true,” Nemcek says. “I had 36 wonderfully exciting years there, and it wouldn’t have been possible without my IIT foundation.” He retired as executive vice president of Motorola, Inc. and president of Motorola Networks in 2006.
Nemcek served as chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2005–2013 and is responsible for the board’s impressive rejuvenation. “My goal was to build a strong structural foundation with the right mix of energized alumni on the board,” he says of his work to rebuild the board from the ground up. “I want to see our Alumni Association as one of the most successful university associations in the world—one that brings together like-minded alumni in the interest of a shared common goal: the advancement of Illinois Tech.”
Additionally Nemcek is a member of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees Executive Committee and makes an impact through his philanthropy, particularly his focus on scholarships and helping the next generation of students. “I had to work full time in the evenings while carrying a full course load to put myself through college,” Nemcek says. “I came from meager beginnings, and this education opened doors for me. It’s a nice feeling to know I’m doing the same thing for current students.”
Chair of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees and 2016 Alumni Medal recipient Bud Wendorf (ME ’71) nominated Nemcek for his extraordinary service and commitment to the university as a trustee, volunteer, and project leader. Nemcek is also a loyal donor, having funded many board initiatives and established the Nemcek Family Scholarship. Wendorf says, “It is deeply meaningful [to Nemcek] to walk the campus and see students who he is impacting through philanthropy.”
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