Former quarterback, executive returns to BNI with career advice

HAMMOND - Life-changing opportunities greeted Eddie Limon when he was a Bishop Noll Warrior in the 1980s. He now wishes to return the favor, making himself a resource for students who are looking to the future.
Finding himself at a point in his executive career when he can dedicate more time for philanthropy, Limon, a Houston, Texas resident, has been refining a plan to help connect high schoolers with the best college opportunities.
In November, Limon led a session of the Hammond school’s Freshman Seminar, a get-acquainted initiative to help plant the seeds of success for the young students. “Education is my passion,” the BNI school board member explained to the students.
Sharing his life experiences, the East Chicago native made no effort to hide his belief that God saw fit to provide him the Bishop Noll experience to counterbalance “a troubled home life” and give him a “safe space, a home away from home.”
The blessings of a compassionate, Catholic education and a path to a good adult life are gifts that he said he wishes to promote and can’t keep under a bushel basket.
“I always knew I’d be involved again with Noll in some capacity. I didn’t know at what capacity ¬ I thought I’d probably teach chemistry,” said the class of 1985 member. “To be a board member and to have a bigger impact, it’s just been a ball!”
Being modest about what perhaps garnered him “too much attention” in his teenage days at BNI, he said he wanted others to succeed for reasons other than “because I could throw a football.”
In gratitude for the opportunities that the Warriors athletic program afforded him as a starting quarterback, Limon made a sizable donation to the Fielding Our Future campaign, which has already materialized in ground-up renovations of the football field and other fall sports facilities.
From Texas, Limon recently spoke about his hopes to spend more of his time actually on the BNI campus. Of course, he’d have to be in the Region – an arrangement he hopes to make more permanent should he retire from on-site responsibilities at VRC Technologies, a chemical company providing processing, distribution and logistics services.
According to Limon, VRC was a firm that he and other investors purchased and turned around to profitability, gaining insight he learned from previous employers in the chemical industry.
Limon hopes BNI students will develop the right “chemistry,” or communication approach for the professional world. He said the school provides plenty of encouragement for members to live their faith, apply their minds and take care of their bodies. But he thinks a revamped approach to completing the college connection circuit would boost each person’s chances for success.
“Many people don’t know what they don’t know,” Limon said. “Getting a scholarship is one way, but if you can’t afford to go to (a private college), they will pay for it.”
When he spoke to BNI students this fall, he said their characteristics reminded him of his top three ingredients for success: “be gritty, tough and when you fall down, get up.”
Limon believes that the biggest universities are not necessarily the best for students. He hopes to share with his alma mater his plans to help connect students with elite and smaller colleges, which are known to have very successful alumni counted among their ranks.
He groomed his two sons, former standout student-athletes at suburban Houston high schools, to have the opportunities that they now realize, with one attending the University of Chicago and the other Amherst College in Massachusetts.
“I wish to take high-performing academic students that are underserved by or underrepresented at the Ivy (League) and other elite private colleges in the United States and place them there. And I know how to do that,” he explained about his counseling ambitions.
For Limon, being honest and open to constructive criticism has allowed him to flourish in the corporate world. He wishes students to have a secure learning environment but one in which they are also challenged to aim high.
“Bishop Noll did (that) for me many years ago, as it does for many today, providing a sense of safety,” Limon explained. “That’s important, but I think it’s also a nurturing environment … providing a way for you to express yourself in a culture of trying new things.”
Looking into the future, BNI president Paul Mullaney, class of 1977, believes the beneficence of graduates such as Limon has helped the Hammond school set and reach goals.
“The generosity of Eddie (Limon) is characteristic of the engagement many of our alumni maintain to help us continue to raise the BNI bar,” said Mullaney.

Caption: Eddie Limon, Bishop Noll Institute class of 1985, leads a session of the Hammond school’s Freshman Seminar in November. The Texas-based chemical processing company executive was on hand for the get-acquainted initiative to help motivate young students to focus on their education and future opportunities it may create. (Provided photo)