Former Lilly Exec to Serve as Franklin Trustees Chair

Posted: Updated:

A former Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) vice president is preparing for her first meeting as chair of the Franklin College Board of Trustees. Christi Fields is a 1974 graduate of the college and has served on the board since 2002. She spent nearly 25 years at Lilly and retired as international relations vice president. January 20, 2014

News Release

FRANKLIN, Ind. - Christi Fields, new chair of the Franklin College Board of Trustees and 1974 graduate of the college, will preside over her first meeting in February. The Board of Trustees elected Fields after Susan Johnson DeVoss retired following the October meeting after serving five years.

Fields is keenly familiar with Franklin College, its history, mission and values, having dual perspective as an alumna and trustee. She was elected to the board in 2002.

“I was really blessed to attend Franklin, and I recognize that I had the opportunity because of so many others’ gifts,” Fields said. “Now I have a different responsibility and way of giving back to an institution that gave so much to me. I am honored to lead our talented and committed board of trustees as we build on the college’s rich history, but look to the future to meet new and different demands.”

Fields brings extensive business experience to the role of board chair. She retired as Vice President and General Counsel, International Operations from Eli Lilly and Co. after nearly 25 years. She travelled extensively for 15 years to help support Lilly business in nearly all parts of the globe, including Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Canada, Australia and Japan.

The new chair planned to be a teacher during her career, which she did for four years at Franklin Community School Corporation, after her time as admissions counselor at Franklin College.

As both an admissions counselor and teacher, Fields came in contact with individuals who she says were “dynamic” and inspired her to consider other horizons, particularly business law. She recognized it could open many doors to different careers. To be good required constant learning and effective communication, all things for which Franklin College and teaching had provided a sound basis.

She went on to earn a law degree from Indiana University in 1981 before she clerked for Hon. James B. Young ’50, Indiana Court of Appeals, as well as several Franklin attorneys. She eventually settled into an Indianapolis law firm. Shortly after, Fields founds herself with Lilly, where she was able to continue her travel globally. She values the community around her, stressing the importance of the relationships built.

“The trustees recognize the challenges facing institutions of higher education, including Franklin. The current environment requires us to better tell our stories of success and quality, to engage more constituencies in understanding why they should support the institution’s mission and to continually look forward to make sure we are meeting the needs of our constituencies,” Fields said. “I am convinced, that working together, Franklin College can continue to adapt and change to meet the needs for leadership and service in a global economy.”Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus located 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis. The college prepares men and women for challenging careers and fulfilling lives through the liberal arts, offering its approximately 1,000 students 36 majors, 39 minors and 11 pre-professional programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit www.FranklinCollege.edu.

Source: Franklin College