Marc Topkin | August 26, 2019
Vincent J. Naimoli, 81, of Tampa, FL, a Notre Dame alumnus, prominent and successful businessman, and founder of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, passed away on Sunday, August 25, in an assisted living facility in Tampa, after a long illness. One of four children of a second-generation Italian immigrant, who worked for the New York subway system, and who became a self-taught stationery engineer, Vince graduated from Paterson (NJ) Central High School, and from the University of Notre Dame in 1959 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Enrolling at Notre Dame in September 1955, both as a member of the Fighting Irish Football team, and as a Naval ROTC student, while working a student job in the University’s South Dining Hall, he graduated from Notre Dame in June, 1959. Pursuing graduate studies in mechanical engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), he later earned his MBA degree from Farleigh Dickinson University.
All three universities received significant scholarship and research funding from him in later years, as did several other academic institutions. At the University of Notre Dame, his leadership gifts included one of four wings in the Mendoza College of Business in 1995, the creation of Club Naimoli in The Joyce Center, when the former Athletic & Convocation Center underwent a major renovation in 2009, an endowed grant-in-aid in baseball in ND Athletics, and several endowed undergraduate scholarships. He served for over 32 years as an active and engaged member of Advisory Councils at Notre Dame, for both the Mendoza College of Business (1986-2006), and the College of Engineering (2007-present).
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