Mills College President Alecia DeCoudreaux 2013 IU commencement speaker

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Alecia DeCoudreaux spoke at the IU undergraduate commencement ceremonies on May 4, 2013, in Assembly Hall.

In 2011, DeCoudreaux left her position as a senior executive at Eli Lilly and Co. to become president of Mills College in San Francisco. The following year, the Indianapolis Business Journal named her one of the year's most influential women. She couples her considerable professional accomplishments with a passion for community service, both to Indiana University and her surrounding community.

"I have known Alecia for over 25 years," IU Provost Lauren Robel said. "She is a brilliant and highly pragmatic counselor, committed to leadership by example and to deep values of community service. This is richly deserved."

DeCoudreaux is known for taking great pride in building strong bonds and relationships in the communities where she has lived and worked. She has held numerous honorary and leadership roles at IU Bloomington, including honorary director of the IU Foundation from 1998 to 2007. In 1998, she was inducted into the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, the highest honor Maurer bestows upon alumni.

At Eli Lilly and Co., where she was highly regarded, she became director of community relations in 1990 and advanced through various administrative positions until being named vice president and general counsel for Lilly USA in 2005. She was considered a "tireless consensus builder" and a transformative and invaluable part of the Lilly leadership team.

The 13th president of Mills College, she is the institution's first African-American female president. DeCoudreaux earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College in 1976 and her law degree from the IU Maurer School of Law in 1978.

Read Bloomington Herald-Times article:  Commencement speaker tells IU’s graduating seniors that detours are part of the journey.

View "2013 Commencement Speaker Alecia DeCoudreaux" video.