Former Merck CEO to Speak at Penn's Kelly Writers House About New Book "Medicine, Science, and Merck"

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Media Contact:Matt Gray | mtgray@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-4820October 1, 2004

WHO:Roy Vagelos, retired CEO of Merck and former chairman of Penn Board of Trustees.

WHAT:Vagelos will be talking about his new book "Medicine, Science, and Merck."

WHEN:6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7

WHERE:Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk

In his memoir, Vagelos has two stories to tell: one about the growth and development of medical science in business and the other about the dream of the ethnic American realized, and these stories are social, national and intellectual rather than merely personal in nature.

Roy Vagelos grew up a "wise-cracking kid" in an immigrant Greek family living through the hard times of the 1930s in New Jersey.  He left the family restaurant business to attend Penn, graduating

in 1950.  After several academic positions in medical schools and time at the National Institutes of Health, he became a distinguished science administrator at Merck.  Eventually he became Merck's CEO.

Founded in 1995 by a group of students, faculty, staff and alumni, the Kelly Writers House is an actual 13-room house that serves as a center for writers of all kinds from Penn and the Philadelphia region at large. Each semester the Writers House hosts approximately 150 poetry readings, film screenings, seminars, Web magazines, lectures, dinners, radio broadcasts, workshops, art exhibits and musical performances.  About 500 people visit the House each week.