Judson University to Celebrate Alumni Accomplishments at Fall 2012 Homecoming
(Elgin, IL – September 10, 2012) Judson University alumni will gather for their annual homecoming banquet at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 21 in the Holiday Inn & Suites Grand Ballroom (495 Airport Road, Elgin), where they will honor three graduates, Alumnus of the Year Kevin Noe ’79, and Distinguished Alumni Merrie Derderian ’09 and Patrick Gilliam ’91. Men’s Soccer Coach Steve Burke will also be honored with the Man of Character award.
Kevin Noe ’79 will receive the Alumnus of the Year Award, given to recognize alumni that have made significant contributions to the Church and to society. Noe was a human relations major who served as a Resident Assistant when he was a Judson student. Noe married his Judson sweetheart, Linda Anderson ’79 and together they have two children, Ben and Jenny. They currently reside in Castle Rock, Colo.
Noe is on an indefinite sabbatical from his role as Chief Marketing Officer of Tata Technologies, a leading engineering company in the Tata Group. In his role as CMO, Noe was responsible for a new global brand platform development for Tata Technologies. Tata Technologies has over 4,000 employees with offices in 40 cities in 14 countries. In early 2010, Noe led a strategic marketing initiative to highlight BETTER INNOVATION by bringing the first Tata Nano to the United States. The Nano was extensively profiled on CNBC, The Today Show, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Harvard Business Review, and multiple media outlets around the United States.
Prior to Tata, Noe was the CEO of his own company, INCAT, for 15 years before completing the merger with Tata Technologies in 2005. With employees and operations in the U.S., Singapore and London, his company provided engineering software and services to the world’s most admired companies including Apple, Boeing, 3M, G.E., Honda, Ford, and United Technologies. Noe has been a speaker for over 20 years at national conferences and is a United States Patent holder.
In service to his alma mater, Noe has been a member of Judson’s Board of Trustees since 2007 and has been the leading advocate at Judson to build the Entrepreneurial Studies program. He also helped establish Judson’s annual World Leaders Forum and served as chair for the 2011 event, which featured President George W. Bush.
Noe also serves on the Board of Directors for Mt. Saint Vincent Home and Project 1.27. In addition to his community initiatives, Noe is an avid mountain climber. He completed a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal and Kala Pattar in 2011. He has summited Orizaba [18,500 ft.] in Mexico, Cotopax [19,400 ft.] in Ecuador and Huayna Potisi [20,035 ft.] in Bolivia.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to recognize alumni that have made outstanding contributions to their profession and community as they model excellence in their vocations.
Distinguished Alumna Recipient Merrie Derderian graduated in 2009 with a degree in Management and Leadership from the adult education program, and earned with a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Judson in 2011.
Derderian currently serves as the vice-chairman, executive vice president of W.R. Meadows, Inc. in Hampshire, Ill. Derderian is also active in her community in the following capacities: Provena St. Joseph Hospital, Board Member; Elgin Symphony, Board of Trustees Member; Elgin Donor Club, Member; Judson University, President's Advisory Board Member; Foxy Ladies Literary Society, Member. In 2010, Derderian was given the YWCA Leadership Award for Business. Derderian also served as an inaugural member of the Judson University World Leaders Forum leadership committee. Derderian has one son, Matthew Price, and a granddaughter, Kaylyn Price. Derderian and her husband John reside in St. Charles, Ill.
Distinguished Alumnus Recipient Patrick Gilliam ’91 was a physical education, secondary education major with an English minor as a Judson student. He was also a four-year member of the men’s soccer team under Coach Steve Burke, earning all-conference honors as a junior, and he played on two National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament qualifiers.
For over 15 years, Gilliam has served as the Head Coach for Trinity International University’s (TIU) men’s and women’s soccer teams. Gilliam has guided the TIU men’s team to the NCCAA national tournament in 2000 and again in 2008. Under his coaching, the TIU women’s soccer team has also posted impressive numbers, having won three CCAC regular season and three conference tournament championships. Gilliam is No. 7 for the most winning soccer coach in the NAIA, but Gilliam says his desire is to see players mature holistically during their time at TIU. Gilliam has a passion to see young people, specifically university students, grow spiritually, physically and academically.
Gilliam is also an avid learner, reader and writer, a popular speaker in chapel Kiwanis club, and a guest lecturer for churches and youth conferences. He is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Gilliam resides with his wife Holly and two children, Ian and Emma, in Wheeling, Ill.
Men’s Soccer Coach Steve Burke will be honored at the Alumni Banquet with a Man of Character Award for the Christian character and integrity modeled in his leadership, and for the lives he has influenced in the 28 years he has served Judson’s Athletic Department. Coach Burke has lead the men’s soccer program since 1984 and recently became the eleventh coach in men's soccer history to win 500 career games. Burke and his wife Sharon, an educator in Elgin, Ill., live in West Chicago, Ill. Together they have three children, Bryan, Corey ’12 and Lindsey.