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Recap of the 2013 Black Alumnae/i Symposium

Dear Simmons alumnae/i:

I am thrilled to take on my new role as president of the African American Alumnae/i Association (AAAA) this year and honored to serve you over the next three years. Over the summer, I had the pleasure of hearing from many of you about your memorable experiences at this past April's Black Alumnae/i Symposium. Often referred to as a "moving and inspiring" weekend of events, you praised the rich and diverse content, important recognition of major leaders, serious discussions about the future of Simmons and its Black students, and opportunity to reconnect with friends.

In celebration of the 2013 Black Alumnae/i Symposium, Simmons alumna and Trustee Roslyn Watson '71 challenged alumnae/i, faculty, staff, and friends to contribute to the Black Alumnae/i Legacy Scholarship, and offered to match all gifts up to $150,000. The Black Alumnae/i Legacy Scholarship was established in 2005 with gifts contributed by members of the Colleges Black community and others as a legacy of the Black Alumnae/i Symposium Weekend held that year, and provides the opportunity for more young Black women and men from the undergraduate and graduate programs to become alumnae/i of Simmons.

Inspired by this year's Symposium's central theme of "Celebrating Our Gifts," the African American Alumnae/i Association joined Ros in emphasizing the importance of giving back and celebrating the gifts members of the Simmons community have shared with the College by encouraging the 2013 Symposium's more than 100 attendees to do their part to make a transformative, student-centered education available to as many Simmons students as possible. As a result of our efforts and Ros' challenge, we raised over $80,000, which will directly support talented young women and men of color who desire to obtain a Simmons education.

As you decide where you will direct your end-of-year charitable gifts, I hope you will consider contributing to the Simmons Fund Making Education Work Campaign. Every gift, large or small is needed. By supporting the College, you not only help current students receive a quality education, but you encourage corporations and foundations to support the College as well by raising our alumnae donor participation rate. All current gifts to the Simmons Fund are put to good use but if you would prefer to direct your support to an endowed scholarship for African American students, you can request that your gift be directed to the Elizabeth B. Rawlins '67GS Scholarship Fund or the Black Alumnae/i Symposium Legacy Scholarship Fund. In addition, you may make your gift to the Black Alumnae/i Symposium Legacy Fund in honor of Dr. Erma Brooks '09HD, It is easy to make your gift online or via phone through the Office of Advancement, at 800-831-4284.

In the coming months, the AAAA will offer you the chance to connect with fellow alumnae/i more regularly, by bringing Simmons to a city near you! Regional Event Coordinators will host a number of alumnae/i events, in select regions, including Massachusetts (Greater Boston Area), New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania/Delaware, and Washington D.C./Maryland/Virginia. Whether you're into fine dining, financial planning, literature, health and wellness, the arts, sports, or politics, we've got an event tailor-made for you and your Simmons sisters!

This year, the African American Alumnae/i Association will begin working on several initiatives to establish club identity, strengthen the alumnae and student connection, increase alumnae engagement, and improve the AAAA giving participation rate to The Simmons Fund. In addition, we will be partnering with various deans of the colleges to build alumnae/student relationships, by offering Black students a formal mentoring program and more diverse career education opportunities.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page and become a member, so that you can stay up-to-date on the latest AAAA events and news! I look forward to meeting many of you this year and working together to achieve our goals!


Chanelle Peters '04

Chanelle Peters '04
President, Simmons College African American Alumnae/i Association Executive Board

Roslyn M. Watson '71 was awarded the Alumnae Service Award at the Evening of Appreciation in October, for her outstanding service to the College and the Alumnae Association. In her remarks, Roslyn reflected on her experiences as a Simmons student in the 60s, and her reconnecting with the college after a period of relative inactivity.

Read the transcript of remark by Roslyn M. Watson '71.

Leslie Morris '75, in partnership with the Campbell Soup Company, will be hosting a focus group for black women graduates in the classes of 1965-1979. The focus group discussion will address factors and issues associated with career and life success of these outstanding Simmons women. The goal is to use these success stories to assist young girls of color – particularly those of low income backgrounds - in their transition to college and ultimately a successful life.

The Campbell Soup Company will disseminate a letter to approximately 100 black women inviting them to the Campbell Soup headquarters for a reception and focus group discussion. The event is expected to take place in May or June of 2012.

For more information, please contact Leslie Morris at

African American Alumnae/i Association (AAAA) Mission:

  • The mission of the African-American Alumnae Association (AAAA) is to represent and serve all African American and African descended alumnae/i of Simmons College, in order to serve and advance the interests of Simmons College and to support African descended alumnae/i and students. We foster a spirit of fellowship among alumnae/i, students, faculty and administrators; and preserve the history and celebrate the accomplishments of the college and its alumnae/i.

African American Alumnae/i Association (AAAA) Goals
The goals of the AAAA are to:

  • To lead in the continuing development of Simmons alumnae/i of African descent as influential professionals in the community, the home and the work place;
  • To direct a process incorporating alumnae/i with students, faculty and administration to further unify and strengthen the college;
  • To foster an inclusive environment that addresses the academic, cultural and social needs of students of African descent at Simmons College, potentially increasing their recruitment, retention and overall quality of life; and

To promote recognition of the undergraduate college as a unique women's educational experience for students of African descent.

African American Alumnae/i Association Executive Board of Simmons College Contacts [List of the AAAA Executive Board]
For contact information, please call 800-831-4284 or email