Sweet Briar announces commencement speaker

Posted on March 20, 2012 by Janika Carey

Vivian Pinn
Sweet Briar College has announced its commencement speaker for this year. Vivian Pinn, M.D., a Lynchburg native and former director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, will address the Class of 2012 on Saturday, May 12.

Born in Halifax and raised in Lynchburg, Dr. Pinn earned her B.A. from Wellesley College and received her M.D. in 1967 from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where she was the only woman and only minority student in her class. She is a member of long standing in many professional and scientific organizations, in which she has held positions of leadership, including being the second woman president of the National Medical Association in 1989.

Before retiring in August 2011, Pinn completed a national initiative to reexamine priorities for the women’s health research agenda for the 21st century, involving advocates, scientists, policy makers, educators and health care providers in a series of scientific meetings across the country that ultimately informed the ORWH’s new strategic plan. One of the objectives of the ORWH is to increase the number of women in leadership roles in research and academic institutions. Pinn points out that while more women are entering the field of science, a ‘leadership gap’ still exists between men and women in research.

Pinn came to NIH from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., where she had been professor and chair of the department of pathology since 1982. She has previously held appointments at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School.

She has received numerous honors, awards and recognitions. The Foundation for Gender-specific Medicine honored Pinn in May 2011 with the Athena Award. On March 16, she was awarded the inaugural Bernadine Healy Award at the 20th Annual Congress on Women’s Health for her visionary leadership in advancing women’s health.

For more information, please visit Sweet Briar’s commencement website.