Commencement 2010 Speaker Announced

Alumna Gretchen Holt Witt, ’89, a pediatric cancer activist, will deliver the 2010 commencement address at Meredith College.

Witt is the founder of Cookies for Kids' Cancer, an effort that uses cookie sales to raise awareness and money to support pediatric cancer research. Her efforts have garnered attention from Oprah Winfrey, who included Cookies for Kids' Cancer in Oprah Magazine’s list of “Gifts that Give Back” in December 2009.

In addition to Oprah Magazine, Cookies for Kids' Cancer has also been featured in holiday gift guides in Family Circle, Parade, Ladies’ Home Journal and Redbook. Women’s Day Magazine named Witt one of its “Women Who Are Changing the World” in January 2010, and she was the subject of a Mother’s Day profile on CBS Evening News in May 2009.

Witt’s son, Liam, who was diagnosed at age two with Neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer, is the inspiration for Cookies for Kids' Cancer. After Liam’s diagnosis, Witt discovered that pediatric cancer research is severely underfunded. No new drugs have been developed for pediatric cancer treatment in nearly 20 years. The treatments most children receive today were developed for adults and have not been proven truly safe for children.

Through the concept of local bake sales, Cookies for Kids' Cancer provides the inspiration and support for individuals, communities, and businesses to help fight pediatric cancer. For more information, visit http://www.cookiesforkidscancer.org.

Meredith College’s commencement exercises will be held on Sunday, May 9 at 10 a.m. in McIver Amphitheater.

Date Submitted: 2010-03-09

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