ITHACA, NY—Cornell University President Elizabeth Garrett died Sunday, March 6, about a month after being diagnosed with colon cancer, according to university officials and published reports. Garrett, 52, was inaugurated as Cornell’s 13th and first female president September 18. Before Cornell, Garrett was provost of the University of Southern California.
In early February 2016, Garrett announced she was diagnosed with colon cancer and began aggressive treatment at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, according to the Ithaca Journal.
“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,” wrote Robert S. Harrison, chairman, Cornell University Board of Trustees, in a statement.
He added, “In this regard, she was the quintessential Cornellian. From the moment I met her during the presidential search, it was clear to me that she had the intellect, energy and vision not only to lead Cornell, but to be one of the greatest presidents in our 150-year history. 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.”
Cornell University recently established an integrated College of Business, comprised of Cornell’s three accredited business programs: the School of Hotel Administration, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.