Photo by Michael Smith

ITHACA, N.Y. — Mayor Svante Myrick, a Cornell University alumnus, met with President Elizabeth Garrett frequently in the eight months since she became the public face of one of the most prestigious Ivy League universities in the world.

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He was among hundreds who attended about a 20-minute tribute to Garrett Monday afternoon after she suddenly died weeks after announcing her diagnosis with colon cancer.

Related: Cornell’s first female President Elizabeth Garrett dies weeks after colon cancer diagnosis

On one side of a statue of Andrew Dickson White in the Arts Quad, an American flag flapped in the breeze while on the other side of the statue a flag with the Cornell University emblem was displayed — all the while The Cornell Chimes played in memory of Garrett.

“It’s difficult. It feels like a gut punch. This is somebody who was brilliant — like a laser — she was so smart and so focused and so energetic,” Myrick said. “She worked harder than anybody. I think that’s why, despite her relatively short tenure, she’s going to be remembered as a president who left, who left a significant legacy.”

Watch the full interview with Myrick below:

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.