Celebrating Convocation and Simmons University

September 06, 2018

Faculty, staff and students gather to celebrate the launch of Simmons University and the beginning of the new semester.

University President Helen Drinan '75MS, '78MBA welcomed members of the Simmons community to "Convocation: A Celebration of University" on Wednesday, September 5. Cheers from the crowd echoed throughout the academic campus as faculty, staff and students celebrated the beginning of this next chapter. 

Provost and Senior Vice President Katie Conboy kicked off the festivities with a presentation of the four newly organized colleges, headed by our four inaugural deans

Continuing this spirit of welcome and celebration, Associate Provost and Dean of the Undergraduate Program, Catherine Paden, congratulated the newest Members of Academy — Simmons' undergraduate honors society. Paden, along with the four new deans, inducted 26 new members of the Class of 2019 into the Academy. 

Professor Geoffrey Turner, President of the Faculty Senate, gave an address to the Class of 2019 on behalf of the faculty. As a behavior scientist, Turner urged students to truly engage in their surroundings and foster relationships with peers and professors — many of whom will become lifelong friends. 

"Get lost in what you do here at Simmons," said Turner. "Find out what engages you. Find meaning and a higher purpose in your work."


"The Simmons story has many more chapters to be written," said Provost Conboy as she concluded her remarks. "Let's write them together!"


Turner was followed later in the ceremony by Provost Katie Conboy, who gave the Convocation Address. She lauded the current success of the University and the redesign of its academic structure before taking attendees through Simmons' institutional journey.

"We shouldn't forget that Simmons has already been many things," Provost Conboy reminded the audience. "In some ways we might consider all of these versions of Simmons as strands of our DNA."

Provost Conboy explored where we've been, how far we've come and where we're going — encouraging the Simmons community to go forward in confidence as we begin the next chapter in the University's history. 

"The Simmons story has many more chapters to be written," said Provost Conboy as she concluded her remarks. "Let's write them together!"

  • The four inaugural deans: Marie desJardins, PhD, Brian Norman, PhD, Stephanie Berzin, PhD and Judy Beal, DNSc, RN, pose together following Convocation. From left: Dean Marie desJardins, PhD, Dean Brian Norman, PhD, Dean Stephanie Berzin, PhD and Dean Judy Beal, DNSc, RN.
  • Kaitlin Maloney '19 receives honors cords from Dean Brian Norman, PhD Kaitlin Maloney ’19 receives honors cords from Dean Brian Norman, PhD.
  • Members of the Class of 2019 celebrate during Convocation. The Class of 2019 Members of Academy receive their honors cords.