VU Board of Trustees approves honorary doctorate for longtime Toyota executive

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February 29, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS – Amidst discussions of the Vincennes University Board of Trustees at its board meeting on Feb. 27 in Indianapolis, a moment of recognition emerged. The trustees approved the conferment of an honorary doctorate upon longtime Toyota executive Leah Curry in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contributions to the automotive and manufacturing industries and STEM-related education. 

During her 26-year-plus career, Curry held several leadership positions. The Southwest Indiana native is proud to serve as a corporate advisor for Toyota Motor North America since announcing her retirement in December 2023.

An honorary doctorate is the University's highest award and recognizes individuals for their notable achievements, life experiences, and humanitarian efforts.

The trustees acknowledged the profound impact of Curry’s career and accomplishments with unanimous enthusiasm, highlighting her dedication to excellence and service, mirroring the values VU upholds.

Most recently, Curry served as president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc. (TMMI), where she led all production and administrative functions at the manufacturing facility in Princeton, Indiana, which produces the Toyota Grand Highlander, Highlander, Sienna, and the Lexus TX. Additionally, Curry serves on the Board of Directors of Deaconess Health Systems. In 2013, she received the Manufacturing Institute Step Ahead Award, which recognizes female leadership in manufacturing. In 2022, Curry was inducted into the Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame. She was named twice to the top 100 women in automotive by Automotive News. Indiana Business Journal named Curry one of the 250 most influential people in Indiana in 2022.

The Board and the University community will honor Curry with an honorary doctorate during the Vincennes Campus Commencement on April 27.

In other business, the Board expanded academic offerings with the approval of a Product Design certificate.

Andrew Young, VU's Director of Architectural Services and Facilities, provided a detailed update to the Board on recent contracts approved by the Board of Trustees Finance and Revenue Committee. These contracts are related to the construction of the state-of-the-art Center for Health Sciences and Active Learning, for which VU held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Feb. 19. Additionally, the approval for furniture replacement in the Clark Residence Hall reflects VU's commitment to providing state-of-the-art facilities and modern amenities for students.

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