Simmons Celebrates Leadership Donors, Honorary Degree Recipients

May 22, 2015

CRC photo

Commencement Recognition Celebration includes prestigious loan-forgiveness awards for 14 Students

The Simmons community expressed its gratitude to more than 200 of its most generous alumnae/i and friends at this year’s Commencement Recognition Celebration on May 14, 2015. 

“We’re here to honor individuals whose life work demonstrates a commitment to values embraced by Simmons through the pursuit of excellence, gender equality, and the advancement of women, diversity, inclusion, and investment in community,” said President Helen Drinan ’75LS, ’78SM.

Held the evening before Commencement, the program honored members of the 1899 Leadership Society and the John Simmons Society, as well as honorary degree recipients Abigail Disney ’15HD, Deborah Z Porter ’01GS, ’15HD, and Laurence Prusak ’82LS, ’15HD.

Addressing members of the 1899 Leadership Society and John Simmons Society, President Drinan said, “Your personal Simmons legacy includes helping to transform the lives of current and future students. Your outpouring of generosity is funding new scholarships, new innovative academic programs, new faculty and student research, and so much more.” 

President Drinan concluded the evening by presenting 14 students with student-loan forgiveness awards thanks to philanthropic support for Simmons. Twelve of the students were recipients of the President’s Recognition Awards, which were made possible by donors’ generous gifts to 

The Simmons Fund. These competitive awards are given to students who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated leadership and service to the community. In addition, the Joyce J. Kolligian Distinguished Leadership Prize and the F. Mary Sneed Loan Forgiveness Grant were each awarded to students from the Class of 2015.


“As an alumna – and as president – I am prouder than ever of Simmons and all we are accomplishing together,” said President Drinan in closing. “And you can be very sure of this – I will continue to harness the wisdom, energy, creativity, and drive of the Simmons community to benefit our students – and the wider world.”

You can view a video with highlights from the 2015 Commencement Recognition Ceremony.

View additional photos from the Commencement Recognition Celebration