Deirdre Connelly to Deliver 169th Commencement Keynote Address

April 29th, 2010 | SMWC

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) will celebrate its 169th commencement, Saturday, May 8, 2010. Graduation activities begin at 10:30 a.m. with the traditional baccalaureate mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The class of 2010 will receive degrees during a ceremony at 2 p.m. in the Cecilian Auditorium of the Conservatory of Music. Read more about the commencement agenda.

During the ceremony, Deirdre Connelly, president, North American Pharmaceuticals, of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will receive an honorary degree and will deliver the commencement address.

Deirdre Connelly joined GlaxoSmithKline in 2009, where she leads an organization of approximately 10,000 employees and over $14 billion in sales. As part of her current responsibilities, she helps shape the future of the company as a member of its global corporate executive team and co-chairs its research portfolio management board.

 Prior to GlaxoSmithKline, Connelly worked for Eli Lilly and Company for 24 years. She held a variety of executive positions at the company, including senior vice president of human resources, vice president of human resources for pharmaceutical operations, executive director of global marketing for Evista, leader of the U.S. women's health business unit and most recently president of U.S. Operations.

A native of San Juan, Connelly holds a bachelor's degree in economics and marketing from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania. She graduated from Harvard University's Advanced Management Program in 2000.  Connelly serves as a member of the board of directors at Macy's Inc., one of the nation's premier retailers.

Connelly is widely recognized by her colleagues as a strategic leader and passionate advocate for patients. The Healthcare Businesswomen's Association named Connelly the 2010 Woman-of-the-Year. Recognized for three consecutive years by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 most powerful women in business, Connelly is currently ranked 37th. Also Forbes magazine listed her as 74th among the 100 Most Powerful Women of 2009.

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