IU President Michael McRobbie has presented the President’s Medal for Excellence to John Lechleiter, the retired chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company.
Lechleiter accepted the award Wednesday at the Lilly House in Indianapolis. The medal is the highest honor a president of IU can bestow upon an individual. It is given to recognize exceptional work in public service, service to IU or professional achievement.
The medal is made to resemble the silver jewel of office IU president’s wear at ceremonial events.
“For more than a generation, John devoted his professional life to the growth and success of Lilly, one of the strongest anchors of Indiana’s economic landscape and a company that embodies the importance of the life sciences in that economy,” McRobbie said in an IU press release.
Mcrobbie also recognized Lechleiter and his wife Sarah for being excellent philanthropists and friends to the University over the years.
“Their personal financial commitments to countless drives, pledges, funds, fellowships and programs — as well as John’s stewardship of Eli Lilly and Company’s longstanding close partnership with Indiana University — have been instrumental to the growth and continued success of the IU School of Medicine, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Herron School of Art and Design, just to name a few,” McRobbie said.
Lechleiter began his career at Lilly in 1979 when he was a senior organic chemist. He later served in various management roles during a 37-year career.