Thomas E. Reilly, Jr.


Bicentennial Medal (2019)


Thomas E. Reilly Jr. was three-term member of the IU Board of Trustees. Reilly earned a B.S. in economics from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard, Reilly joined the family business at Reilly Industries, Inc. holding a number of different positions in sales, new product development, and eventually vice president and general manager. In 1981, he assumed the presidency and developed a global strategy, implemented modern business processes, and diversified the company's operations by acquiring specialty chemical manufacturers. In 2006, Reilly Industries merged with Rutherford Chemicals to form Vertellus, and the company continued to expand internationally, acquiring businesses in India and the UK.

Reilly's passion for education began early in his career where he served on the board of directors for his children's school, Park Tudor School, and then as a trustee for Butler University. His conviction that education in Indiana needed to be transformed for the state to move forward lead him to chair the Subcommittee on Higher Education for the Indiana Government Efficiency Commission. In 2005, Reilly was appointed to the Board of Trustees at Indiana University and served for three terms, advocating for innovative approaches to education in the state of Indiana and at IU.

Reilly was the president of the American Chemistry Council, and in 2004 the Society of the Chemical Industry awarded him the chemical industry's highest honor, the Chemical Industry Medal. He was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash in 1987 by then Governor Robert Orr.

Reilly received the IU Bicentennial Medal in September 2019 in recognition of his distinguished service as a member of the IU Board of Trustees.