2020 Award Recipient - John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D. ’71
The Outstanding Alumnus Award was established by the Saint Xavier Alumni Association in 1967. Its purpose is to honor annually a graduate (or graduates) who, on a regional, national, or international level, through achievements in his profession or work, has made a significant contribution to the betterment of his fellow man and, in doing so, has brought credit to himself, to his associates and to Saint Xavier High School.
Dr. John Lechleiter retired as Eli Lilly's president and chief executive office on December 31, 2016, after more than 37 years of service. He served as chairman of Lilly's board of directors from January 2009 through May 2017.
Dr. Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in the chemical process research and development division. He became head of his department in 1982. He subsequently held roles in product development, project management, regulatory affairs, and pharmaceutical operations. In 2005, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer and joined Lilly's board of directors. He became CEO on April 1, 2008.
Dr. Lechleiter earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Xavier University in 1975 and masters and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He has received honorary degrees from Marian University, the University of Indianapolis, the National University of Ireland, Indiana University, Franklin College, Purdue University, and Butler University.
Dr. Lechleiter is a member of the American Chemical Society. He serves on Marian University’s President’s Advisory Council, the Dean’s Advisory Council for the IUPUI School of Science, the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health Advancement Council, the board of directors of the Hoosier Art Salon, and the SKL Advisory Council of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series.
He is an honorary trustee of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and a member emeritus of the board of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. He also serves on the boards of Battelle, Ford Motor Company, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, and Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Dr. Lechleiter and his wife, Sarah Lueke Lechleiter, have three children, Daniel, Andrew, and Elizabeth, and nine grandchildren. In 2016, Dr. and Mrs. Lechleiter jointly received the Charles L. Whistler Award for service to the Indianapolis community. In 2017, they were each awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Eric Holcomb. Dr. Lechleiter was inducted into the Indiana Academy in 2019 by the Independent Colleges of Indiana.
ROSTER OF SAINT XAVIER OUTSTANDING ALUMNI
1968 Frank J. Beard '57
Robert H. Nichols '54
1969 Dr. James E. LaFollette '40
1972 William P. Kelly, Sr. '10
1973 George M. Goetz '29
1974 Brother Conrad Callahan, C.F.X. '38
1975 Frank W. Burke '38
1976 Msgr. Raymond J. Treece '30
1977 John B. Voor '42
1978 Cletus A. Ratterman '38
1979 Dr. George F. Dwyer, Jr. '44
1980 Arthur J. Deindoerfer '23
1981 Brother Cornelius E. Hubbuch, Jr., C.F.X. '54
1982 John L. Hoeck '44
1983 Hon. Romano L. Mazzoli '50
1984 Rev. John J. O'Callaghan, S.J. '49
1985 Thomas O. Eifler, Sr. '60
1986 Brother John Heckel, S.V.D. '49
1987 Emil J. Raque, Jr. '53
1988 William T. Heavrin '61
1989 Michael A. Dorris '63
1990 Rev. Clyde F. Crews '62
1991 B. Leo Burmester '62
1992 Eugene C. Ulrich '56
1993 Robert A. Edwards '65
1994 James F. McDonald '58
1995 Bernard A. Crimmins '38 and Michael H. Holland '65
1996 Louis A. "Lew" Miller '35
1997 T. O. "Jack" Hall '49
1998 Paul B. Browne '65
1999 Dr. Orest Hurko '66
2000 Paul R. Charron '60
2001 Brother George Willenbrink, C.F.X. '44
2002 Harry J. Rothgerber '65
2003 Thompson M. Faller, Ph.D. '56
2004 James W. Stuckert '55
2005 Raymond J. Weis '61
2006 C. Eugene Steuerle, Ph.D. '64
2008 Walter D. Gahm, Jr. '63
2009 Joseph P. Viviano '55