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Watch: 107th Simmons College Commencement Highlights 2012

American writer Ralph Ellison states: It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow. And as we began our career at Simmons, we made the decision to change and without knowing, we embarked on a journey of growth. - Undergraduate Student Speaker Tatiana Johnson '12

On Friday, May 18, 2012, Simmons College conferred more than 1,200 degrees during its 107th Commencement ceremonies. Speakers Maria Hinojosa, award-winning journalist and managing editor of NPR's Latino USA, and Carla Harris, managing director in the strategic client group at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, imparted valuable advice to Class of 2012 graduates who are leaving Simmons to embark on the next chapter in their lives.

Read on to relive the memorable day through videos, photos, and more!

Continue reading Highlights from Simmons College Commencement 2012.

Watch the video created by Simmons College to contribute to the It Gets Better Campaign in support of The Trevor Project, an organization aimed at preventing suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth.

Columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller launched the It Gets Better campaign as a response to a rash of LGBTQ suicides, which were the result of bullying and harassment at schools and campuses across the country. The project aims to turn the tide of self-destruction by reaching vulnerable youth with the voices of survival and accomplishment. This video is Simmons' contribution to this important effort, by adding our voices of hope, encouragement, and achievement.

Simmons student ambassador Sarah O'Reilly '14 was involved with the project at Simmons from the beginning. She says movements like this are so important for college campuses.

"College is the place and time in which people start to grow into the people that they will live their lives as," says Sarah. "This project gives the people who have been voiceless in the past a way to speak out and be a part of a positive force in the community. It also helps to show people the parts of their own lives that are getting better and raises awareness of discriminations and hateful behavior."

Simmons' It Gets Better team is hoping this project will continue to grow, and create open dialogues around LGBTQ issues. To follow the movement at Simmons be sure to Like the Simmons College It Gets Better Facebook page and watch full interviews of the project's participants on the Simmons College It Gets Better YouTube channel.

To contribute suggestions or get involved, please email

bruinShop-1.jpgFor many high school students, prom is a right of passage, but the cost of attending can quickly add up. According to a recent survey by Visa, money spent on buying tickets, attire, flowers, limousines, photographers, and after-parties cost an average family an astonishing $807 in 2011. The high costs are causing many students to opt out of the experience due to financial constraints.

In 2005, Anton's Cleaners created the Belle of the Ball program, which helps to alleviate the costs of attending prom by asking people to donate gently worn, prom-appropriate dresses to various locations throughout eastern Massachusetts.

The program concludes with a day-long boutique held at Simmons College, who has been the proud host of Belle of the Ball by donating the use of its gym in the Holmes Sports Center. From February to April, donation boxes were placed around the Simmons campus, and more than 25 prom gowns were donated from the Simmons community. This year's event on April 14 is expected to draw more than 400 young women who will shop for their perfect prom dress, free of cost.

An added bonus? The young women will be assigned a personal shopper and stylist who will help them through the dress selection process!

Anton's Cleaners initially chose Simmons College as the host for Belle of the Ball's "Boutique Day" because of its central location in Boston and because its a women's college who supports young women in the community. Earlier this month, Simmons hosted the first annual fundraiser event for Belle of the Ball, which was a huge success.

Watch video of this year's Belle of the Ball event!

Interested in helping the cause? Be sure to check out the Belle of the Ball website for information on volunteering and donating.

The Clothesline Project is a visual display of t-shirts that bear witness to domestic violence and sexual assault. Each shirt is decorated to represent a person's experience of rape, incest, battery, homophobia; or as a tribute to someone who has lost their life at the hands of their partner. The shirts are decorated by the survivors themselves or their loved ones.

This year Simmons College celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Clothesline Project in honor of alumna and domestic violence victim, Betsy McCandless. Betsy graduated from Simmons College in 1971 and went on to earn her master's degree in counseling.

When she was 42-years-old, she met the "man of her dreams" and was married within three months. Her husband almost immediately started beating her. He stole her money, her car and her self-esteem. After six months she escaped and went into hiding. One day after attending her support group, she was feeling confident and decided to return to her apartment to retrieve her mail. Her then ex-husband was there waiting for her. Tragically, Betsy was the victim of a murder-suicide.

The Clothesline Project at Simmons College is organized by Betsy's Friends, an organization on campus committed to spreading awareness and educating students about healthy relationships, domestic violence and sexual assault. Every year Betsy's Friends puts together a program for The Clothesline Project which remembers Betsy and other victims of domestic and sexual assault.

steve.jpgBetsy's brother, Board of Trustees Member Stephen McCandless, talks about his sister and how Simmons is educating students about domestic violence and what to do if they find themselves in a violent situation.
If you or someone you know needs help dealing with cases of domestic violence or sexual assault, please call the Simmons College Counseling Center Staff at 617-521-2455 or send them an email to set up an appointment.


Tis' the season of shopping, crowds and finals. I know it's a busy time. But, there is so much going on this weekend at Simmons that you should take advantage of. Organizations have worked hard all semester to bring you top notch entertainment and fun. Please, take a break from the hustle and bustle of classes, studying, work, and whatever else is going on in your hectic life, and attend at least one fantastic performance or celebratory event.


Continue reading A weekend of activities.


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