Cindy Eckert to Speak at Class of 2020 Commencement

Cindy Eckert, founder and CEO of The Pink Ceiling, will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2020 on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at Reynolds Coliseum.

The Pink Ceiling is an investment organization committed to supporting companies made by and for women. Through The Pink Ceiling and The Pinkubator, Eckert has supported female entrepreneurs and health technology companies at various levels of development. 

Eckert began her career in the pharmaceutical industry. She has built a distinguished 25-year career in health care. In only the last 10 years, Eckert built two pharmaceutical businesses from the ground up, which she then sold for more than $1.5 billion. One of these, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, broke new ground with the release of the first FDA-approved drug to improve low libido in females. Eckert reacquired the rights to the drug in an effort to ensure its ethical launch and marketing.

At the center of her pursuits, Eckert remains committed to the mission of advocacy for women, working with creativity and sharing her expertise in order to help others achieve their goals. So far, The Pinkubator and The Pink Ceiling have invested more than $37 million in woman-led companies that aim to “put power in women’s hands.” 

Eckert was called “a tireless force of nature,” by Fortune magazine, and has been featured in Entrepreneur, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Forbes, TEDx, and other national media outlets and publications.

Eckert holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marymount University.

Eckert will also be awarded an honorary doctoral degree by Chancellor Randy Woodson during the commencement ceremony.

Chloe Whealan, a May 2020 graduate of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will serve as the student speaker for the Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony. Whealan also addressed her fellow graduates virtually during the Virtual Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony on December 4, 2020. She is excited to address her now fellow alumni nearly a year later in person.

Whealan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Master of Education in School Counseling at NC State, focusing on early childhood development.

You can read more about Whealan in the digital commencement program, which will be available at on Saturday, August 28, 2021.