SLIS Alumna Creates $50,000 Scholarship
Jane Gepfert Hawes ’85LS, a member of the 1899 Society, recently made a $50,000 commitment to enable a student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science to take advantage of the same opportunities she had at Simmons. The Jane Hawes ’85LS Scholarship for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science will provide scholarship aid for a student who would otherwise be unable to afford graduate school.
The Gift of Education
“The cost of education has sky-rocketed,” said Hawes. “If you can afford to give a gift, a gift to education is a gift that ‘keeps on giving.’ I hope my gift will allow somebody to go back to school who otherwise wouldn’t have had that opportunity,” she said.
Hawes values Simmons for the career opportunities it afforded her. “I loved the program and the career opportunities,” said the Little Compton, RI resident, noting that a library science degree is useful in areas ranging from elementary education to corporate information to public service.
Originally from California, Hawes completed her SLIS degree, and then worked for the Massachusetts Department of Education and in Walpole, Mass., as a school library/media specialist. Prior to this, she taught French and Spanish in Colorado and Massachusetts. She and husband, Alexander, are now retired. In addition to education, they support environmental conservation, international relief efforts, and freedom of information initiatives.
Hawes is a member of the board of directors of the Little Compton Historical Society. There, she created a special exhibit on John Simmons, founder of the College, highlighting him as one of 13 notable Little Compton historical figures.
Hawes most admires that John Simmons knew the value of hard work and wanted to give others the chance to succeed. Similarly, Hawes created her scholarship to celebrate the place that gave her opportunities. “I think Simmons is a great school,” she said. “It is my goal to make sure that more people have access to it, and to the great careers a Simmons education can make a reality.”