ITHACA, NY – Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett announced on Monday that she had recently been diagnosed with colon cancer, according to a statement from the university.

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“I am receiving the best possible care from a team of doctors at Weill Cornell Medicine and am beginning an aggressive treatment program,” Garrett said in the statement.

Due to her illness and its treatment, Garrett wrote that she will be traveling less and lightening her commitments in the coming months. Senior leadership of the university will be stepping in to represent the president fulfill some of her commitments in the meantime.

Garrett said that she is optimistic that she will soon be able to resume a fuller schedule and manage her illness.

“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. I am truly grateful to all the wonderful friends and colleagues who are helping me out through this difficult process,” Garrett wrote in her statement.

(Photo courtesy Cornell’s website)

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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.