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Inauguration Of Simmons President March 31: A "Family Affair"

BOSTON (March 16, 2007) — More than 1,000 guests will gather in Boston Saturday, March 31, to witness and celebrate the inauguration of Susan C. Scrimshaw, Ph.D., as the 7th president of the century-old Simmons College.

The inauguration ceremony will be from 10:00 a.m. until noon in the grand ballroom of the Copley Marriott Hotel, 110 Huntington Avenue. For more information, please visit the Simmons College Inauguration website.

In a special twist, the inauguration has elements of being a "family affair." Scrimshaw's daughter, Mary Corey March, a San Francisco artist, designed her mother's presidential inauguration medallion and will place it around her neck, as Simmons Trustee Chair Lucia Luce Quinn officially declares Scrimshaw the president of Simmons College.

And Scrimshaw's father, Nevin Scrimshaw, Ph.D., M.D., an internationally respected public health nutritionist and Institute Professor Emeritus from M.I.T., will deliver the keynote academic symposium address March 30, the day before the culminating inaugural ceremony.

Susan Scrimshaw, former dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, took over the reins of Simmons College in July, upon the retirement of Daniel S. Cheever, Jr., who served as president for 11 years. The inauguration marks the formal launch of Scrimshaw's presidency.

•    Thursday, March 29, 1:00-3:00 p.m., in Lefavour Hall of the Simmons College Campus, 300 The Fenway: The first floor will house posters and presentations that showcase students' academic research and community service work. A celebratory ice cream social will follow.

•    Friday, March 30 at the Copley Marriott Hotel: Alumni from the Simmons graduate schools of Social Work, Health Studies, Management, Library and Information Science, and the College of Arts and Sciences will attend academic symposia focusing on global public health issues.   

•    The 9:00 a.m. keynote academic address on AIDS in Haiti will be delivered by Mary C. Smith-Fawzi, Sc.D., an epidemiologist with Partners in Health and world-renowned expert on AIDS in developing nations.  Smith-Fawzi has spent more than a decade working to improve access to health care in developing countries. She has worked on such issues as malnutrition and mortality among children in Iraq, mental health and HIV in Tanzania, and the health of Haitian refugee youth in Boston.  She currently is working on a study of psychosocial intervention for rural Haitian children affected by the HIV virus.

•    Reactions to Smith-Fawzi's talk, and individual school breakout sessions, will begin at 10:15 a.m., when faculty and alumni will discuss social implications of health care disparities around the world, global sharing of information on HIV and AIDS, AIDS and nutrition in developing nations, and the role of AIDS education in Haiti.

•    President Scrimshaw's father, Nevin Scrimshaw, will deliver the 1:00 p.m. keynote address March 30, titled "Nutrition, Health and Cognition from Womb to Tomb," about ways that adverse environmental factors, both biological and social, can diminish the potential for normal cognitive development.  

Nevin Scrimshaw is an internationally respected clinical and public health nutritionist and a leading force in improving nutrition and primary health in people of developing nations. He is founder and president of the International Nutrition Foundation, the 1991 World Food Prize Laureate, founder of the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama, and organizer of the World Hunger Programme for the United Nations University. The author of more than 650 publications and author and editor of more than 20 books, Scrimshaw was founder and for many years the head of the M.I.T. Department of Nutrition and Food Science.
Nevin and Susan Scrimshaw are the first father-daughter members of the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

•    A student panel on "The Global Simmons" will be held at 2:15 p.m, when international students studying at Simmons, and Simmons students who have studied abroad, will discuss some of their special experiences.

•    Saturday, March 31, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon:  The formal inauguration ceremony begins, with a processional of Simmons international students carrying the flags of their home countries;  college and university presidents from around the nation; Simmons faculty, emeriti faculty, alumni, and students; representatives of learned academic societies; and public officials.  Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will deliver greetings.

The Boston Children's Chorus, the Simmons Chorale student vocal group, the Simmons Gospel Choir, and the Boston Brass Ensemble will provide the music.

After Simmons Trustee Chair Quinn declares Scrimshaw the president of Simmons College, Scrimshaw will deliver a speech about the rich Simmons history; its current recognition as a center of academic excellence, career preparation, and community service; and her vision for Simmons as a leading force globally and nationally in higher education.

For an overview of Scrimshaw's background, visit the president's website.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university in Boston, with nearly 5,000 students enrolled in the undergraduate college and five graduate schools. Simmons was founded in 1899 as the first women's college in the country to combine liberal arts education with professional career preparation. Today Simmons has an undergraduate college for women; the nation's only business school designed specifically for women; and nationally recognized coeducational graduate schools of social work, library and information science, health studies, and graduate studies.