Distinguished Alumnus 2000
Ambassador Julian Niemczyk


Ambassador Julian M. Niemczyk of Annandale, VA., was born at Fort Sill, Okla., and graduated from St. Mary's High School in Lawton. He received his associate degree from Cameron in 1939 and a bachelor of arts from the University of the Philippines. At Cameron he was a member of the marching band and dance band.

When the 158th Field Artillery Band was formed at Cameron, Ambassador Niemczyk trained with them. When the Oklahoma 45th Division was activated in 1940, he began his 31 year active duty military career in the Army and Air Force which would take him to the U.S. embassies in Manila, Warsaw and Prague where he was stationed in 1968 during the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion. He would return 18 years later as the first Slavic American to become U.S. Ambassador to then Czechoslovakia from 1986 to 1989 and was involved in the diplomatic negotiations with communist leaders on behalf of the United States in support of the many dissidents who later became the leaders of both the Czech and Slovak Republics.

In 1998, he was honored by these Republics receiving the Slovak Republic's Order of the White Dual Cross, presented on behalf of the President of the Slovak Republic, Michael Kovac; and the Presidential Medal of Merit for service to the Czech Republic and contributions to NATO expansion presented by President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic.

Other positions he has held include director of the nationalities division of the Republican National Committee and Chief Executive Officer of People to People International where he remains active as chairman emeritus. He was presented Cameron University's Distinguished Service Award in 1989. He is married to the former Margaret McCann.