ITHACA, NY – Cornell’s Bailey Hall was packed with nearly 1,000 students, faculty, staff and community members who came to remember Elizabeth Garrett, Cornell’s 13th president and it’s first female president, who died earlier this month.

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Weeks ago, Garrett was diagnosed with colon cancer and went to Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City to pursue aggressive treatment. After a surgery on Friday, Mar. 4, Garrett appeared to be recovering and was moved out of the ICU.

Two days later, on Sunday, Mar. 6, Garrett passed away, shocking the Cornell community.

According to the program, Thursday’s memorial service will consist of musical performances by the Cornell University Chorus and the Cornell Glee Club, readings from several students and alumni, and reflections on Garrett from a Board of Trustees member, a professor of Medicine from Weill, and Provost and acting President Michael Kotlikoff.

Thursday’s memorial is the third event in honor of Garrett, following a moment of silence and candlelight vigil that had occurred earlier in the month.

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.