Progress Report

As we prepare for the holidays and new year, it is a good time to consider our progress as well as the work ahead. Many of the articles here reflect the ongoing evolution of Simmons as we advance and build on our signature strengths. 

Leadership is a key component in any organization’s growth and success, and we are pleased to introduce our newest senior leaders. Dr. Lepaine Sharp-McHenry is our new Dean for the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences. Lepaine is committed to working with faculty to provide a transformational educational experience for students on campus and online. 

Lynette Cook-Francis is our new Senior Vice President of Student Engagement and Enrollment Management. This brand-new role represents the critical interface between attracting students and ensuring they have what they need to be successful academically and personally while here. Lynette will be leading the way to advance us on this front. 

Alumnae/i have always been an important part of our student experience. Your philanthropic partnership makes a Simmons education possible—68 students from our incoming class are the first in their families to go to college. All our first-year students (that’s 438!) are receiving financial aid. We are grateful, and so are they.  

While we keep our “shoulder to the wheel” on what we must do today to keep Simmons strong, we also have an eye on the horizon for future generations. That’s why I think the One Simmons project is the most important initiative we have ever taken on. It is the next step of the innovation we are known for—as we work to make our physical space match our dynamic academic experience to support learning. It is more than time to revitalize our campus to support our students for the next 100 years. 

President Drinan at the 40th annual Simmons Leadership Conference with actor, award- winning producer and equal rights activist Laverne Cox, who spoke about “Designing a Successful Life.” (Photograph by John Waite)

Alumnae/i who attended Simmons here in The Fenway know how much the experiences you had in your dorm, classroom, lab, dining and athletic space, mattered in your education. Students of the future deserve the same transformative experience in a physical space that is safe, able to support the technology and interdisciplinary collaboration academically required, and designed to flex and change to meet the needs of students. It’s an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build new spaces on campus to support our mission. 

We will be working hard in these upcoming months to make sure our One Simmons plan has longevity and sustainability so we can continue to launch students into successful lives and careers.

President Helen G. Drinan ’75MS(LIS), ’78MBA