As Cornell president Elizabeth Garrett heads to surgery, the campus shares its good wishes

February 19, 2016 by Rachel Cera

On Friday, Cornell University president Elizabeth Garrett "went in for surgery" related to her recent colon cancer diagnosis, and a Facebook group has sprung up to offer her good wishes.

Cornell president Elizabeth Garrett speaking at her inauguration last September. 14850 Photo.Cornell president Elizabeth Garrett speaking at her inauguration last September. 14850 Photo.Last Monday, President Garrett told the Cornell community she was "beginning an aggressive treatment program" following a diagnosis of colon cancer. Cornell's thirteenth president, who was inaugurated last summer, says "I am receiving the best possible care from a team of doctors at Weill Cornell Medicine."

Cornell faculty member Paul Merrill says the Facebook group was "created to send thoughts, prayers, good wishes, and positive 'vibes' to our 13th President, Elizabeth Garrett." 

A statement from Cornell Board of Trustees chairman Robert S. Harrison on Friday evening said that "in order to ensure the continuity of university leadership," Garrett "has officially delegated the duties and powers of the presidency to Provost Michael Kotlikoff." 

"Weill Cornell Colon and Rectal Surgery offers state-of-the-art care in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders affecting the lower gastrointestinal tract," according to the Weill Cornell Medicine website. The unit is affiliated with the Center for Advanced Digestive Care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

"Advances in research and clinical care in cancer offer great hope to patients like me, and Cornell and Weill Cornell lead in advancing science in this arena," says the president, in her statement. "I am optimistic that with the support of my family, friends and the Cornell community, I will be able to resume a fuller schedule soon and manage this illness."

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