Announcement

Knight Foundation Makes $250,000 Investment in The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities

In November 2017, Simmons University announced that its new College of Media, Arts, and Humanities would be named in remembrance and honor of the late journalist Gwen Ifill ꞌ77, ꞌ93HD, one of the University’s most distinguished alumnae. Today, The John L. and James S. Knight Foundation, a national foundation that invests in journalism, the arts, and local communities to foster informed and engaged communities, announced a $250,000 investment in support of The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities.

The Ifill College will use Knight Foundation support for programming and structural improvements that advance excellence in journalism and media education, including the inaugural Ifill Forum being held on Saturday, October 19 at Simmons. The Ifill Forum will feature a panel discussion about “Media, Race and Democracy” with Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour; Asma Khalid, political correspondent, NPR; Maya Valentine ꞌ19, press assistant, U.S. House of Representatives; and Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor, PBS NewsHour. The discussion will be moderated by Rachel Gans-Boriskin, assistant professor of practice, The Ifill College.

The Ifill College is proud to acknowledge Knight Foundation's inspirational act of philanthropy by dedicating a newly created multi-functional boardroom in the foundation’s name. The Knight Foundation Board Room sits in the heart of the newly renovated Ifill College wing in the University’s Main College Building. It houses a collection of memorabilia and artifacts commemorating Ifill’s student days as well as her groundbreaking journalism career. 

The Knight Board Room is a vibrant meeting place for student groups and organizations. Events hosted there have included the OpEd Project write-in and meetings among faculty and campus leaders shaping the vision of the College. Celebrations have also taken place in the boardroom that have included members of the Ifill family and a group of friends and colleagues of Gwen Ifill’s who donated to support the Ifill Scholarships. The day of the Ifill Forum, Anica Butler, editor of The Boston Globe’s Ideas section and former deputy editor in the Globe’s news department, will lead a workshop with a group of Ifill College students.

Simmons University students from The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities attend a workshop with Anica Butler from the *Boston Globe *in the Knight Foundation Board Room ahead of the Ifill Forum on Oct. 19, 2019.
Simmons University students from The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities attend a workshop with Anica Butler from The Boston Globe in the Knight Foundation Board Room ahead of the Ifill Forum on Oct. 19.

We invite you to tour the Ifill College wing and Knight Board Room to learn about Gwen Ifill’s legacy by participating in the interactive display, seeing artifacts from her time as a Simmons student and her career in journalism, and seeing first-hand how her legacy lives on through the transformative learning undertaken by the students and faculty of The Ifill College.

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