PROFESSOR EMERITA EDITH F. HELMAN ’72HD HONORED WITH $700,000 TRIBUTE SCHOLARSHIP
Lifelong Friend Jean T. Nelson Creates Scholarship Using a Planned Gift
The late Professor Emerita of Spanish Edith Fishtine Helman ’72HD touched the lives of hundreds of students, colleagues, and friends in her almost-four-decade tenure at Simmons, from 1932–1971.
Jean T. Nelson was one such friend of Dr. Helman’s. In a tribute to their connection, Nelson, now deceased, established the Dr. Edith Helman Memorial Scholarship for her “dear friend” with a planned gift of approximately $700,000. Nelson made her gift by combining a gift annuity with a charitable trust.
“This extraordinary homage to a half-century friendship is heartwarming,” said Arlene Holtzman, director of planned giving. “Generations of students will be able to come to Simmons because of this gift, and Jean’s generosity and Edith’s memory will be remembered and celebrated again and again.”
The two friends met in the 1940s in Rockport, Mass., where both had residences. They established a lifelong bond that lasted until Helman’s passing 50 years later, in 1994.
Nelson, who worked as a counselor in her career, was not the only one to celebrate Helman’s achievements. In addition to receiving an honorary degree from Simmons in 1972, Helman won numerous grants and fellowships to study abroad, notably from the U.S. Department of State and the Guggenheim Fellowship program.
Helman, who wrote and edited a number of articles and books about the Spanish artist Goya, also belonged to several scholarly and academic societies and groups, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Phi Beta Kappa.
She was elected to the Collegium of Distinguished Alumni of the College of Liberal Arts at Boston University and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Spain. Helman’s work, papers, and documents are held in a collection in the Simmons Archives.
The award-winning scholar gave her own gift — itself a tribute — that would enrich the Simmons experience for students. In 1963, Helman helped establish the Bush Art Fund at Simmons College. The fund created a permanent art collection for Simmons in honor of Lyle Bush, associate professor emeritus of art.