Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter will be the commencement speaker next month at Franklin College. He will also receive an honorary degree along with a retired philosophy professor and a former chair of the college's board of trustees. April 21, 2014
FRANKLIN, Ind. – Franklin College will host its 2014 Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24 in Spurlock Center Gymnasium on campus. The keynote speaker will be John C. Lechleiter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company. Lechleiter also will receive an honorary doctorate of science from the college. J. Thomas (Tom) Howald and Susan Johnson DeVoss will receive honorary degrees as well during the ceremony. In order to ensure seating for the families of graduating seniors, tickets are required to attend the ceremony.
Baccalaureate will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 23 in the Branigin Room of the Napolitan Student Center. Philip Gulley, the pastor of Fairfield Friends Meeting, will give the address and receive an honorary doctorate of divinity. This event is open to the public and no ticket is required to attend.
John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., has served as president and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Co. since April 1, 2008. He became chairman of the board of directors on January 1, 2009.
Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development and became head of that department in 1982. In 1984, he began serving as director of pharmaceutical product development for the Lilly Research Centre Limited in Windlesham, England.
He returned to the United States in 1986 as manager of research and development projects for Europe. In 1988, he became director of development projects management, and he assumed additional responsibility for pharmaceutical regulatory affairs the following year. In 1991, Lechleiter was named executive director of pharmaceutical product development, and he became vice president in 1993. He was appointed vice president of regulatory affairs in 1994, was named vice president for development and regulatory affairs in 1996, and became senior vice president of pharmaceutical products in 1998.
In 2001, Lechleiter was appointed executive vice president for pharmaceutical products and corporate development. In 2004, he became Lilly’s executive vice president for pharmaceutical operations. And in 2005, he was named president and chief operating officer and joined the board of directors.
Lechleiter received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1975. He subsequently studied organic chemistry as a National Science Foundation Fellow at Harvard University, where he received his master’s and doctorate degrees in 1980. Lechleiter has received honorary doctorates from Marian University (Indianapolis, Indiana), the University of Indianapolis, the National University of Ireland, and Indiana University.
Lechleiter is a member of the American Chemical Society and Business Roundtable. He serves on the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), as president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), as chairman of the U.S.-Japan Business Council, and on the boards of United Way Worldwide, Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio), the Life Sciences Foundation, and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. He also serves on the boards of Nike, Inc. and Ford Motor Co.
J. Thomas (Tom) Howald, Ph.D., a retired philosophy professor, will receive a doctorate of humanities. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Franklin College and his doctorate degree from Pennsylvania State University. Howald taught philosophy, medieval history, earth science and religion at Franklin College for 45 years. He also taught at Indiana University, summers 1977-2006, and for the Alderson-Broaddus College Austria Program, fall semester of 2004. At Franklin College, he served as chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, faculty marshal and the institutional accreditation liaison. He served as a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
In 2011, Howald earned the Franklin College Alumni Award and served as Commencement speaker.
During his time at Franklin College, he was honored with the Roger D. Branigin Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1980, the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence in 1988 and 2001 and the Alumni Citation in 2001. He has written articles for The Poynter Center Press and was editor for the Manual for Geologic Field Study of the Northern Rocky Mountains, Indiana University, 2002, and, more recently, Business Ethics for Dummies, 2011. Howald is a resident of Franklin, Ind.
Susan Johnson DeVoss, former chair of the Franklin College Board of Trustees, will receive a doctor of humanities degree. She graduated from Franklin College in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in history. DeVoss has served as a board member since 1997 and was elected as chair in 2008, becoming the first woman to fill this position. She retired from The Chase Manhattan Bank after 31 years in human resources. Her career included residing in Hong Kong for five years to assist more than 3,000 Chase employees in 12 countries in Asia and the Pacific. DeVoss was a guest speaker for the Franklin College Tull Lecture series in 1987. She chaired regional campaigns during the college’s Leaders for Life capital campaign from 1999 to 2002. DeVoss was honored in 1973 with an Alumni Citation for Outstanding Achievement in recognition of achievements in her profession, service to her community and service to the college. DeVoss’s ties to Franklin College span 132 years, starting with her great-grandfather, Andrew Johnson, who served as secretary of the board from 1882 to 1903. She shares alumni status with many family members, including her parents, the late Robert A. and Elizabeth (Flinn) Johnson, and her husband, Jay M. DeVoss. She is a resident of Indianapolis.
Pastor Philip Gulley, Ph.D., is a Quaker pastor, speaker and writer living in Danville, Ind. He studied theology and sociology at Marian College (now Marian University) before earning a master’s degree from Christian Theological Seminary. He is currently a co-pastor at Fairfield Friends Meeting near Indianapolis. Gulley has written 18 books, including a series about a Quaker community in Harmony, Ind. His television program, “Porch Talk with Phil Gulley,” which has been broadcast on the Indiana PBS affiliate WFYI and their flagship show “Across Indiana,” has earned him two Emmy Awards. Gulley writes a column for Indianapolis Monthly and often writes for The Saturday Evening Post. His work earned him an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2010 from Christian Theological Seminary.
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