We celebrate Simmons as a campus community all year round!

Students celebrating May Day in flower crowns

Celebrating Simmons

Traditions are part of what makes Simmons so special. From Founder's Day to the Simmons Soiree, our campus celebrates its legacy in fun and exciting ways. Check out a few of the ways we celebrate our Simmons pride!

Traditions with a long history at Simmons

Student in a flower crown

May Day

May Day is the oldest continuous tradition at Simmons. This 100-year-old tradition meets the modern age with the senior and sophomore classes working together. Activities include flower crown making, a strawberry-themed brunch, singing, the maypole dance, and more.

Simmons campus in the snow

Winter Wonderland

Catch the holiday spirit with res-hall decorating, themed dinners, and an ugly sweater party hosted by first-year students. This tradition loosely grew from the Olde English Dinner.

Stormy the Shark in front of the CITGO sign

Shark Week

Seven days of swimming in Shark pride through events like casino night, scavenger hunts, laser tag, cake decorating, and more.  Shark Week is an evolution of what originated as Track Day.

The Simmons academic campus

Founder's Day

Every year on October 30, we celebrate the birthday of Simmons’ founder, John Simmons with an essay contest, sparkling apple cider, and cake!

A simmons student standing with her parents

Friends and Family Weekend

Every year friends and families of our students come to experience Simmons for themselves. This tradition began as Father-Daughter weekend in the 1960s.

Newer traditions at Simmons

Group photo of students at the 2021 Candle Lighting Ceremony

Candle Lighting Ceremony

A moving tradition that brings first-year students together on their first night to pause and reflect.

Sarah Mariski in a photo booth with friends during the Simmons Soiree

Simmons Soiree

Like prom, but fancier! You and your date spend the night dining and dancing at one of Boston’s finest hot spots, like Park Plaza or the State Room.

Traditions and Annual Events in the News

A side-by-side image of Joy-ann Reid and Latoyia Edwards

Join the Discussion on "Democracy on the Edge: A Conversation with Joy Reid" at the Ifill Forum

On Tuesday, April 2, 2024, the 2024 Gwen Ifill Forum will feature a discussion with MSNBC political analyst Joy-Ann Reid, moderated by Emmy Award-winning anchor Latoyia Edwards.

Sony Vader ’27 reading her winning essay on Founders Day

Founder’s Day Award-Winning Essay by Sonia Vader ’27

Simmons undergraduates are invited to participate in an essay contest each year on Founder's Day. This year, contestants wrote about how their experience at Simmons realizes John Simmons' vision for educating what President Lynn Perry Wooten calls "everyday leaders" for their life's work. This year's winner was neuroscience major Sonia Vader '27.

Stormy, the Simmons mascot, posing for pictures during Alumnae, Family, and Friends Weekend 2023

Alumnae/i, Family, and Friends Weekend Celebrates Simmons and the Power of Community

Alumnae/i, Family, and Friends Weekend welcomed a broad cross-section of the Simmons community for an action-packed schedule of ways to celebrate, engage in dialogue about University’s present and future, and just have fun.

Kaz Gebhardt '25 speaks during the 2023 Alumnae/i, Friends and Family weekend, photograph by Kristie Dean

Alumnae/i and Students Discuss How to Create Community in the Living and Learning Center

During Simmons’ 2023 Alumnae/i, Family, and Friends Weekend, a series of conversations focused on building the future of the University. This dynamic conversation explored issues of belonging, traditions, and the preservation of history.

Photo of Kaz Gebhardt

A Queer History of Simmons

History Major Kaz Gebhardt '25 researches the queer foundations of decades-old Simmons traditions.

Pictured, Reunion Steering Committee Members, from left: Ruth Estrich, Laurie Lawton, Claudia Oppenheim Cameron, Lauren Brisky, Deborah Lerner Duane, Linda Adler, Anne Noznisky, Adunni Anderson, Joyce Greenberg. Photos by Adriana Arguijo Photography

50th Reunion Weekend

While at Simmons, students in the Class of 1973 witnessed seismic cultural change and political upheaval. They saw on-campus protests of the Vietnam War, and the passing of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court . Gloria Steinem delivered their...

Black Alumnae/i Symposium 2023 Group Photo in front of MCB stairs

Black Alumnae/i Symposium 2023

From Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30, the African American Alumni Association (AAAA) held the Black Alumnae/i Symposium, "The Power of Our Presence: Our Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration," on the Simmons campus. The celebration began on Friday...

Students setup for May Day 2023 in Alumnae Hall

Simmons' 2023 May Day Ushers in Spring with Spirit of Inclusivity

On April 30, Simmons students gathered at the residential campus to celebrate May Day, a longstanding tradition at Simmons. Attendees enjoyed complimentary food and gifts, live performances, and more. While the event has shifted and evolved over the years, it continues to honor the unique and supportive community at Simmons.