Cornell President dies after battle with colon cancer

Cornell’s first female President died Sunday night after a battle with colon cancer. Just a month ago, Elizabeth Garrett announced publicly that she was diagnosed with colon cancer, and that she would be undergoing treatment to battle the illness.

The university said in a statement, “Beth was simply a remarkable human being — a vibrant and passionate leader who devoted her life to the pursuit of knowledge and public service and had a profound, positive impact on the many lives that she touched. In this regard, she was the quintessential Cornellian.”

Cornell Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Harrison said in part, “While Beth’s tenure as president has tragically been cut short, her efforts over the last eight months have set the university on a path toward continued excellence. She will leave a lasting legacy on our beloved institution and will be terribly missed.”

New York State Sen. Michael Nozzolio also released a statement, which read in part:

“It is with tremendous sadness that I learned Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett passed away last evening after battling colon cancer.

President Garrett was an outstanding leader. I was honored to have known and worked closely with Elizabeth during her eight month tenure. Together we worked on numerous Cornell initiatives, and I am grateful for her many discussions and guidance throughout those endeavors. Elizabeth’s impact on Cornell University, while too brief, was significant.

President Garrett was a staunch advocate and loved Cornell University. She will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Elizabeth’s family, friends and the entire Cornell community at this time.”

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