Vincent J. Naimoli, chairman emeritus and founder of the Tampa Bay Rays, entered the national spotlight last fall when the team he had nurtured for almost a decade played in the World Series. 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 to a blue ribbon task force on baseball economics in January 1999. 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. Naimoli was inducted into the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and was 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 the Board of Overseers, as well as at the University of Notre Dame and Fairleigh Dickinson University. He 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 Tampa Bay Rays of Hope Foundation, the first Bridging the Bay Award in 1996 and the NJIT Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2007. Naimoli graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1959 out of Paterson Central High School. He received a master of science in mechanical engineering from NJIT in 1962 and holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master of business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In recognition of his exceptional career as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, business and civic leader, whose achievements include bringing Major League Baseball to Tampa Bay, Florida, and for service as an NJIT Overseer, New Jersey Institute of Technology is pleased to confer the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, upon Vincent J. Naimoli.