Lead. Cora Breckenridge knew when it was time to lead. In June 1997, she became the first African American member of the Indiana University Board of Trustees.
With two degrees from IU, she was enthusiastic about serving on IU’s governing body and helping to generate alumni interest. “There are so many things I can do to help reconnect people to this great institution,” she said at the time of her election.
Throughout her time as an IU trustee, Breckenridge focused on three major issues at IU:
- Keeping higher education accessible and affordable;
- Retaining and recruiting students; and
- Providing top-notch teaching faculty.
Above all, she pledged to be open with the faculty and staff and represent them well. Her leadership at IU exemplified the university’s larger commitment to demonstrating diversity, vitality, strength, and vision.
Breckenridge also serves as a member of the national board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She has been the membership chairman of the Indiana NAACP since 1978, secretary of the Elkhart County Branch since 1984, and chair of Women in NAACP Elkhart Chapter since 1994. She is a retired speech/language pathologist for the Elkhart Community Schools and resides in Elkhart with her husband, Franklin, a former Indiana NAACP president.
Breckenridge has served as president of the Elkhart County Speech and Hearing Association and is a life member of the Indiana Speech and Hearing Association. She also holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association, of which she is a member. Finally, she is the first lady of Olivet AME Church of South Bend, where her husband serves as pastor.