Sheila Murphy, the Dean for Student Life, who arrived at Simmons in 1994, was always in close contact with Betsy's classmates, Ruth Ginsberg, Lynne Conroy and Denise Pappas. Alumnae donations continued to stream in and the fund grew in Betsy McCandless' name. As the movement grew, there was a growing desire to involve students in more substantive ways. As a result, students became involved in the development of programs designed to educate their peers on the issue of relationship violence. This aspiration, coupled with the steady support of the Betsy McCandless Fund resulted in the formation and funding of a peer education group.
Reflecting on the origins and groundswell of support for this project, Dean Sheila Murphy suggested the group be called "Betsy's Friends"And so "Betsy's Friends" was formed in 1997. Sarah Lay, a nurse practitioner and health educator for the Health Center, spearheaded this effort. "The committee found a use for the memorial fund money that Betsy would have approved and been proud of," stated Ginsberg.