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Gerberding, first woman to lead CDC, will address 2020 graduates

Julie Gerberding

Washington University in St. Louis is welcoming alumni from the Class of 2020 back to campus for in-person Commencement ceremonies on May 30.

Julie L. Gerberding, MD, the first woman to serve as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will deliver the address to the returning graduates, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin announced in a video message to members of the class.

The university’s May 15, 2020, universitywide Commencement ceremony in Brookings Quadrangle was canceled due to public health concerns in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to let this class — who frankly got the raw end of the deal last year — know that Dr. Gerberding, a world-renowned infectious disease and vaccine expert, will deliver their much-anticipated in-person Commencement address,” Martin said.

“During her tenure as the first woman to lead the CDC, Dr. Gerberding led responses to more than 40 public health crises, including the anthrax attacks in 2001, SARS and the avian influenza. When she was president of vaccines at Merck, she oversaw the planning of new vaccines and accelerating efforts to broaden access of Merck vaccines in developing countries. Dr. Gerberding has deep expertise on infectious diseases, vaccines, public health and on the COVID-19 pandemic; we are fortunate that she can share her timely perspectives with our graduates,” Martin said.

Read full story in The Source