The Chaplin Tyler Executive Leadership Lecture Series brings leaders from the business, non-profit and government sectors to the UD campus to share their experiences and insights with students, faculty and the business community. Each semester, the Lerner College’s Graduate Programs office invites these leaders to spend a day engaging in an open exchange of ideas and perspectives.

The series, which is supported by the Chaplin Tyler Endowment Fund, is dedicated to the memory of Chap and Elizabeth Tyler, their commitment to education and their determination to help young people achieve success in the business world.

Fall 2022 Lecture: Terri Kelly & Wendy Smith

Leading through paradox: The power of embracing competing demands at W.L. Gore and Associates

Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 8:30 a.m.

Please register for this free event.

Terri Kelly, UD Board of Trustee Chair & former President and CEO of W.L. Gore

Terri Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at UD in 1983. She is the former president and CEO of W.L. Gore & Associates, a multibillion-dollar enterprise that employs more than 10,000 associates with locations worldwide. Kelly is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

A member of the Board of Trustees since 2009, she has served as vice chair since 2015 and became the Chair in 2022. In 2014, she was honored with the UD Alumni Wall of Fame award.

Kelly currently serves on two public boards: United Rentals, the largest rental equipment company in the world, and Netherland-based ASML, a global leader in chip manufacturing equipment for the semiconductor industry. She also serves as a trustee of the Alfred I. DuPont Charitable Trust which oversees the Nemours Foundation, one of the nation’s leading children’s health care systems. She is also a member of the Management Executives’ Society and the International Women’s Forum.

She and her husband, John Kelly, who is also a UD alumnus, have generously supported the University, including a major gift to the UD Athletics’ Building Our Home initiative, which supported the renovation of Delaware Stadium and the construction of the Whitney Athletic Center. The lobby of the Whitney Center is named in their honor. In support of the faculty, they created an endowed faculty position – the Terri Connor Kelly and John Kelly Career Development Professor of Mechanical Engineering. The Kellys are also passionate about student wellness and key supporters of the recently opened Wellbeing Center at Warner Hall.

Wendy Smith, Dana J. Johnson Professor of Management & Co-founder of Women’s Leadership Initiative

Wendy Smith earned her Ph.D. in organizational behavior at Harvard Business School and is currently the Dana J. Johnson Professor Management at the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics and Co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at the University of Delaware.

Wendy’s research focuses on strategic paradoxes – how leaders and senior teams effectively respond to contradictory agendas. She studies how organizations and their leaders simultaneously explore new possibilities while exploiting existing competencies, and how social enterprises simultaneously attend to social missions and financial goals. Her research has been published in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Harvard Business Review, Organization Science and Management Science. In 2018, she won the University of Delaware’s first Mid-Career Excellence in Scholarship Award. In 2015, she won the Lerner College Outstanding Scholar Award. In 2022, she co-authored the book “Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems.”

Wendy teaches leadership, organizational behavior and business ethics. She has taught MBAs and undergraduates at University of Delaware, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania – Wharton. Wendy was awarded the University of Delaware MBA Teaching Award in 2016. Wendy has also taught executive and senior leadership teams how to manage interpersonal dynamics, emotional intelligence, high performing teams, organizational change and innovation, managing in times of crisis, and managing strategic paradoxes.

Lecture History

Spring 2022

Jeffrey Kleintop ’93, CFA
Managing Director, Chief Global Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co, Inc.
Read about this event and watch the video


Robert L. Siegfried, Jr. CPA ’81 BE
CEO & Founder of The Siegfried Group
Read about this event and watch the video


David Elkins
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Bristol Myers Squibb
Read about this event and watch the video


Dawn Zier
President & CEO, Nutrisystem
Read an interview with Ms. Zier


Chris Ghysens
President and Chief Executive Officer, Wawa
Read an interview with Mr. Ghysens

Past Lectures
Eric Foss
Chairman, president and CEO, Aramark
Lawrence A. Cunningham
Author; Henry St. George Tucker III research professor of law, George Washington University
Ron Insana
Author; Contributor, CNBC, MSNBC
J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr.
Executive chairman and chairman of the board, Marriott, International, Inc.
David Robertson
Professor of practice, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania