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Such nice news for ME today. "Lee Street" has been taken off the market. I know that is not good news for the people trying to add to the college coffers, but I am glad that piece of Simmons shared experience still remains. Here is what I wrote in January.
It is hardly a Mansion, but I called it that, "Lee Street," the President's house. the President's Home.
My first President was William Holmes. Bill and his wife Jo entertained at Lee Street. It was the hospitality center of Simmons College. I remember standing in the gardens with friends during the many receptions for new faculty members held each September. One year this absent minded professor drove to Lee Street arriving a day early. Luckily, while noticing that there were no cars in the driveway and no police on duty directing traffic, I was able to buzz back to the College and check my invitation. Dooh!
I have a laminated front page of the Simmons News that celebrated the inauguration of our first woman president. Jean Dowdall signed that front page for me at a reception at Lee Street for students, faculty, alumnae, and friends. I believe President Dowdall, during her days of public service, conducted a walk for charity which began at 300 The Fenway and ended at Lee Street, where she entertained all the marchers, young and old. I remember the good matured fun arising from the fact that rather than walk I negotiated a deal which became a poster. BobWhite donated fifty dollars so he wouldn't have to walk. You can too.
I had dinner with Denise Di Novi and her husband on the night before she delivered the Commencement address and received her honorary degree. Dan Cheever was my President then.
And of course there was the cupboard under the stairs. Yes, Lee Street has one. Just like Harry Potter's bedroom. Susan Scrimshaw and her family were all Harry Potter fans. During an alumnae event Susan snuck me away from the formal presentations, and in a hallway off the entryway she open a small door and we shared delight in that cupboard under the stairs.
Yes, Lee Street was our haven, an island of refined civilization just three and a half miles away from 300 The Fenway.
A friend at the College suggested that it would be very nice if an alumna bought the President's Home and gave it back to the College. Selling it to us for perhaps a dollar. Or a penny. Or "priceless." Priceless for a million, million memories.
Kindly Olde Professor of Communications