The name change is the culmination of a strategic planning and visioning process begun in 2011.
The corner signs outside 300 The Fenway are visible public evidence of change at Simmons. Inside, the significance of the University moniker is reflected in the most comprehensive academic redesign in more than 100 years.
In an August message to the Simmons community on the eve of the September 1 name change, President Helen Drinan wrote: “Becoming Simmons University is a key strategy in the redesign of our academic structure to inspire today’s students. It signals to the world that Simmons is a force in today’s competitive higher education landscape, further elevating the stature of our distinctive undergraduate program for women and our nationally recognized graduate programs.”
The academic redesign has organized Simmons’ schools and programs into four new colleges:
• The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities
• The College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences (including the School of Nursing)
• The College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences (including the School of Library and Information Science and the School of Business)
• The College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice (including the School of Social Work)
“The new colleges each underscore signature Simmons strengths, combining distinct disciplinary preparation with interdisciplinary emphases, inter-professional approaches, and attention to rapidly evolving fields of study and practice,” explained Provost and Senior Vice President Katie Conboy, when the University designation was announced in May.
In her August message, President Drinan noted that change has been part of Simmons’ history since its founding in 1899. “Simmons has evolved to meet the changing needs of students and the world. Yet every step of the way, we have actively remained true to our founding mission, which continues to guide me and all of my Simmons University colleagues today.”
“We all have reason to celebrate as Simmons takes its rightful place in the landscape of higher education as Simmons University.” —President Helen G. Drinan ’75MS, ’78MBA, August 30, 2018
In this video, President Helen Drinan describes how the transition to Simmons University continues a tradition of evolving to meet the changing needs of students and the world.