The plan for May 13 is for McRobbie to present an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Marchionne, the highest academic recognition IU can bestow. School officials said the degree is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated “high standards of excellence” in a particular field or endeavor.
IUK spokeswoman Marie Radel said McRobbie will deliver the main commencement address to the graduates, and Marchionne is also expected to speak at the event. IUK Chancellor Sue Sciame-Giesecke also will speak.
Chrysler officials weren’t immediately available for comment on IUK’s announcement.
"This transformation also has had a major impact on the community served by Indiana University Kokomo, spurring job growth and energizing a partnership between the campus and the company that continues to benefit our students and members of the local community,” McRobbie said. “Indiana University is extremely pleased to present this honorary degree to Sergio Marchionne in recognition of his exceptional career and contributions to preserving Kokomo's rich automotive heritage and history of innovation."
Marchionne is also chairman of CNH Industrial N.V. and leads Fiat S.p.A. Group Executive Council and has served as chief operating officer of the Group Executive Council's NAFTA Regional Operations Group. He became CEO of Fiat S.p.A. in June 2004 and has been a member of the board since May 2003.
Marchionne was born in Chieti, Italy, and has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship.