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Health Technology Entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes to Speak at Pepperdine Commencement

March 12, 2015  | 1 min read

Pepperdine University is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of a thriving Silicon Valley-based company, and the world's youngest self-made female billionaire, will deliver the commencement address to Seaver College graduates at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, at the Malibu Campus. Holmes will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, the University's highest honor.

Holmes founded her privately held firm, Theranos, in 2003, when she was a 19-year-old Stanford University chemical engineering student. She left as a sophomore to lead the company full time. Theranos is simplifying the way that lab diagnostics are conducted by providing new analytic tools and enabling early detection of disease. With just a simple finger prick and one drop of blood, Theranos technology can quickly conduct up to 70 tests, making evaluation simple, accessible, and rapid. Holmes’ goal is to empower individuals to take control of their own health through real-time diagnosis and monitoring, and convenient, thorough testing.

The company is partnering with Walgreens, the largest retail pharmacy chain in the United States, to open Theranos Wellness Centers inside more than 8,000 pharmacies nationwide, to provide lab testing using Theranos technology.

Holmes has garnered much publicity and support for her work. She was recently named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Theranos has a distinguished board of directors that includes two former United States secretaries of state: George P. Schultz and Henry Kissinger. Theranos is based in Palo Alto, California, and employs a staff of more than 700.