Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Community Mourns the Passing of Former Fund Board President Michael J. Birck

birck.jpgThe IMSA community mourned the passing of Michael J. Birck, former Tellabs CEO and President, as well as an IMSA Fund Board President and longtime supporter of the Academy.

Michael and his wife Kay were two of the most generous donors in the history of the Academy, and he helped forge a valuable partnership between IMSA and Tellabs. Birck also served as Co-Chair of the Fund Board’s first Major Gifts Initiative, which supported IMSA’s statewide extension programs.

"IMSA is grateful for Mr. Birck's unwavering support of the Academy and his generous, long-standing work with the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education,” said IMSA President Dr. José M. Torres.

Birck, originally from Montana, earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue and a master’s from NYU in electrical engineering. He served as President and CEO of Tellabs, Inc. for more than 25 years, winning many awards and honors, such as IMSA's Shining Light Leadership Award and being inducted to the Chicago Business Hall of Fame.