Ifill Forum

Gwen Ifill '77 '93HD was a model of intellectual curiosity and truth seeking. As a journalist, Gwen was committed to not only asking important questions but also truly listening to the answers. Those traits are what inspired this annual event aimed at bringing together industry experts for an eye-opening and dynamic discussion on the important issues of our time.

Judy Woodruff, Dean Brian Norman, Asma Khalid, Maya Valentine and Yamiche Alcindor onstage during the Ifill Forum.

The annual Ifill Forum invites alumnae, community members, students, faculty, staff, and friends of Gwen Ifill to experience an event where important national voices come together for a conversation of a pressing issue. The Ifill Forum seeks to ask the questions that Gwen herself would be asking of our world today.

During the Forum, the Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award is presented to an individual who embodies Gwen Ifill's commitment to professional excellence, mentoring, and the public good. 

Gwen Ifill speaking at a past Simmons Commencement

Gwen Ifill: A Life of Purpose

Best known as a successful and much admired television news anchor, Gwen Ifill launched her career here at Simmons.

Meet Gwen Ifill
Judy Woodruff, Dean Brian Norman and Yamiche Alcindor at the Ifill Forum

Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award

The Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award honors Gwen Ifill's commitment to professional excellence, community and mentoring. It recognizes a professional who exhibits the promise to carry on the work of fostering civic dialogue and an informed, diverse citizenry.

Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award
Knight Foundation Boardroom

Knight Foundation Investment

When Simmons University named one of its colleges in honor of Gwen Ifill, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation bestowed a $250,000 investment upon the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities. Support from Knight Foundation will honor Ifill’s legacy, including her commitment to journalistic integrity and civic engagement, as well as her esteemed reputation among journalists, civic leaders and the public at-large. 

Ifill Forum in the News

April Ryan holding 2023 Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award posing with President Wooten and group of women

On the afternoon of February 11, the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities hosted its fourth Ifill Forum. This event honors the legacy of pioneering journalist Gwen Ifill '77, '93HD by bringing together "important national voices for a...

Past Forums

Robin Roberts, Co-Anchor of Good Morning America

2021: “Truth, Resilience, and Democracy”

Robin Roberts, journalist, author, host, and anchor of Good Morning America received the 2021 Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award. The award was presented to Roberts by fellow journalist Michele L. Norris. The panel featured Roberts, as well as Kevin Merida, Executive Editor of the LA Times.

headshot of Ava DuVernay, writer, producer, director, and founder of Array Now

2020: “Facing Hard Truths”

Ava DuVernay, winner of BAFTA, Peabody and Emmy Awards, and Academy Award nominee was honored with the Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. was a panelist. Michele Norris, one of the most trusted voices in journalism, served as moderator.

Yamiche Alcindor

2019: “Media, Race and Democracy”

Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and a political contributor for NBC News and MSNBC was the recipient of the first Gwen Ifill Next Generation Award. Panelists included Asma Khalid, national political correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) and co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast, Maya Valentine ’19, Press Assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives, and Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. Rachel Gans-Boriskin, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Communications, served as moderator.