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Distinguished Alumnus

John Landgraf

B.S., Biology, 1974
M.S., Microbiology, 1975

John Landgraf

John Landgraf enjoyed a long career as an executive at Abbott Laboratories before retiring in 2015. Over the course of his 38-year career, he served in 14 different roles, spanning two divisions — Abbott Diagnostics and Abbott Nutrition. At the time of his retirement, he served as executive vice president of Abbott Nutrition, overseeing 16,000 employees in ten units with sales more than $6 billion.

Since joining Abbott in 1977, he has moved from their diagnostic division to serve in key leadership positions — ranging from plant quality assurance, manufacturing, marketing and engineering. His previous positions at Abbott include Senior Vice President, Global Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Supply and Vice President, Quality Assurance and Compliance. Prior to joining Abbott, Mr. Landgraf worked in research and development for Inolex Corporation in Glenwood, Illinois.

While Mr. Landgraf has a head for business, his heart is with NIU. He met his wife, Anne, a history major, while a student. Throughout his successful business career, he consistently made time to meet with students and present to classes at NIU. He was instrumental in developing a relationship between NIU and Abbott, which employs about 500 NIU alumni. Together with his wife, he established an endowed fund to support students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences pursuing a range of engagement activities ranging from undergraduate research, study abroad, service learning, internships, teaching or clinical experiences. This endowment is the cornerstone of the newly-developed Student Engagement Fund, a collaborative project between CLAS and the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning, which debuted in the Spring of 2015. A former member of the NIU Foundation Board of Directors and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

Mr. Landgraf currently serves on the boards for the Northeast Illinois Council — Boy Scouts of America; the Mailisita Foundation and Education Center, which serves the educational needs of the orphan population in Tanzania; and Crealta Pharmaceuticals LLC.

In addition to his degrees from Northern, he earned a master’s degree in business administration in 1992 from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

Mr. Landgraf epitomizes what it means to be a Huskie. With a solid academic foundation and an equally solid work ethic, he worked his way up the ladder at an international Fortune 500 company and to become a true leader who gives back to the institution he holds so dear.

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