Mourning the Loss of Gwen Ifill ’77 ’93HD

November 15, 2016

Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill '77 '93HD was a proud alumna and trailblazing journalist.

The entire Simmons College community is deeply saddened by the death of Gwen Ifill ’77 ’93HD on Monday, November 14. Gwen was a proud alumna and a trailblazing journalist who, at the time of her passing, was the moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” on PBS, as well as the co-anchor and co-managing editor with Judy Woodruff of the “PBS NewsHour.” In February, the pair made history as the first all-female anchor team to moderate a presidential debate.

Earlier in her career, Gwen reported for the Boston Herald-American, the Baltimore Evening Sun, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and NBC. Gwen was also the author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. She was 61.

Throughout her career, Gwen was a source of inspiration and pride for everyone at Simmons, most especially for students and alumnae/i who aspired to her level of achievement and excellence in journalism. She was also widely respected by her peers and won numerous awards. This week, Gwen was due to receive yet another honor, the prestigious John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

"All of us in the Simmons community were proud to know that one of our own was informing the national conversation around vital issues in a meaningful way. And to us it made perfect sense that the first pair of women to co-anchor a network news broadcast would include a Simmons alumna." said President Helen Drinan.

Simmons College plans a tribute to Gwen after the Thanksgiving holiday. In the meantime, members of the community may sign an online condolence card.

Some members of the Simmons community have also expressed interest in making gifts to the College in Gwen’s memory. Those wishing to do so may contact the College online, or by calling 800-831-4284, for gifts to the Black Alumnae/i Symposium Legacy Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to distinguished Black Simmons students at the undergraduate and graduate level.

On behalf of the entire Simmons College community, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the Ifill family and to the many thousands of people whose lives were touched by our own, remarkable Gwen Ifill.