Manu K. Vora has received the 2012 Alumni Medal, awarded to alumni who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to society through service or support and achieve significant personal and professional success from the Illinois Institute of Technology. According to the school, this is the highest honor bestowed by the IIT Alumni Association.
Nominees in this category are selected by the Alumni Awards Judges Teams. A ceremony celebrating all of the 2012 IIT Alumni Award winners was held on April 13.
Vora graduated from IIT in 1970 with a master’s degree in chemical engineering. He received a doctoral degree chemical engineering from the school in 1975.
He also has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Institute of Technology at Banaras Hindu University in India. 1968, he came to the United States on a J. N. Tata Endowment Scholarship to pursue his graduate work at IIT, Chicago. He has been a volunteer and volunteer leader at IIT in at least six different capacities over the past 20 years.
Vora, who lives in Naperville, Illinois is chairman and president of Business Excellence, Inc., a global quality management consulting firm. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Northern Illinois University’s College of Business. He has published more than 40 articles in journals and conference symposia, and delivered over 290 presentations on business excellence and quality management topics around the world. He served as a chief judge at the Illinois Team Excellence Award Program from 1993 to 1999 and is serving on the Board of Examiners of the Asia Pacific Global Performance Excellence Award Program since 2004.
Vora is the founding director and president of the Blind Foundation for India, which has since 1989 raised more than $3.5 million to serve over 15 million blind people in India. The mission of BFI is to prevent and cure blindness and educate and rehabilitate permanently blind people in India. BFI has supported 100,000 free Cataract operations, donated 104 mobile vans, distributed 10,000 Braille kits to blind children, performed eye sight checkup for more than one million people and completed child sight projects for over 450,000 school-going children. For his BFI service, he has received Paul Harris Fellow Medal from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
He has served on the board of directors of the American Society for Quality, the world’s largest network of quality resources and experts. He has been honored with the ASQ’s Distinguished Service Medal, Grant Medal, and Lancaster Medal. He is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer and a Fellow member of ASQ.
In 2011, Vora was honored with “The U.S. President’s Call to Service Award” for his lifetime volunteer service. The U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award program is managed by The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service. In 2011, the National Ethnic Coalitions of Organization honored Vora with its Ellis Island Medal of Honor in a special ceremony at the Ellis Island in New York.
The IIT Alumni Awards are divided into eight categories: Alumni Medal, Alumni Service Award, Collens Merit Award, Galvin Award, International Award of Merit, Lifetime Achievement Award, Outstanding Young Alumnus/Alumna Award and Professional Achievement Award.