Remembering Professor Len M. Mailloux

November 17, 2016

Leonard Mailloux

President Helen Drinan shares her thoughts on the passing of Professor Len M. Mailloux.

It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Professor Leonard (Len) M. Mailloux on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. 

Len, an Associate Professor of Practice, was an incredibly generous and energetic colleague to his fellow faculty and staff in the Department of Communications as well as the College of Arts and Sciences as a whole. From teaching in the Simmons PLAN to helping faculty produce their own sports radio talk show, Len’s commitment to Simmons and its mission was unparalleled.

Len touched the lives of all Simmons students who took his Broadcast Writing, Radio Operations & Performance, Media & the First Amendment, Writing Across the Media, Media, Message & Society, and Globalization on a Shoestring courses and who worked on the Simmons College radio station, The Shark, for which he was the founding general manager.

When asked for words to describe Len, students say he was “selfless, charismatic, unique, caring, happy, inspiring, encouraging, and he makes you feel valuable.” Erin Fishman ’18 reflected many students’ feelings as follows: “Len’s biting wit and quirky humor will be sorely missed. We hope his joyful spirit will stay with the community long after his passing.” 

Len joined the Department of Communications in September 2008 as lecturer and inaugural general manager to launch an internet radio station at Simmons. This station would go on to provide students with the opportunity to manage the station, engage the entire Simmons community, and establish Simmons as a “model multicultural, global academic community.” After the first month on air, via streaming through the Simmons website and Apple iTunes, the new Simmons radio station had 5,596 registered listeners in 49 states and in 45 international locations. Today, The Shark has 17,800 registered listeners and it is heard around the world.

In seven years on air, the radio station won a remarkable 25 distinguished awards including the Intercollegiate Broadcast System (IBS) Recognition Conference Host Award (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), the Platinum Microphone Award for Outstanding and Highest Broadcasting Excellence (2012), Most Innovative Program Winner – Erica Moura (2012), Most Creative Show Winner (2013) and Best Specialty Show Winner – Marjorie Atkinson, Ellen Garnett & Lisa Nault for Mix and Match with M.E.L. (2016).

Len and Simmons students have supported numerous initiatives, events, and awareness-building campaigns outside the Simmons community including — ZUMIX: Boston Youth Radio; The Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo Library Project; Rosie’s Place; GRLZ Radio; and the Colleges of the Fenway Student Film Festival.

In addition to teaching and overseeing The Shark, Len owned and operated a voice-recording studio and worked as a voice-over artist for many clients including AT&T Broadband, Comcast, Cox Communications, Mitsubishi, and Motorola. He was a library-approved narrator for the audio books program of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., recording more than two dozen books on a variety of topics. Before his career at Simmons, Len was a news director and programmer for 23 years at radio stations KVIL in Dallas and WVBF in Boston.

Last night, a candlelight vigil was held in honor of Len on the Residential Quad. The final capstone project in Comm 163 Radio Operations will be a tribute to Len. Members of the Simmons community who would like to make a gift in Len’s memory may contact the College online, or call 1-800-831-4284 to contribute to the Simmons College Communications Department Faculty Award Fund in memory of Len. 

There will be a “Celebration of Len’s Life” on Sunday, November 27th, at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, 1 Benevolent St, Providence, RI 02906. The time has not yet been confirmed but it is expected to be in the afternoon, so please check with the church next Friday. The Celebration is open to all.

On behalf of the entire Simmons College community, our heartfelt condolences are with the Mailloux family and with the many students, alumnae/i, faculty, staff, and friends whose lives were touched by Len.