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History & Exhibits

A Brief History of Simmons College, 1899-1999

John Simmons, a prominent Boston clothing manufacturer and real estate developer, died in 1870. His will provided for his remaining family two daughters and two granddaughters as well as for the founding of an educational institution:

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Creating Community: Simmons College Residence Life, 1902-1965

At first most students were commuters, but as the years passed, more chose to live on campus and larger dormitories were built. To both protect students, and reassure parents, Simmons maintained a strict code of student conduct.  Students enjoyed a wide variety of activities on campus, ranging from afternoon teas to participation in dormitory governance to many annual, traditional events.

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Notable Women of Simmons College Digital Scrapbook Collection

The Notable Women of Simmons College Digital Library captures and makes accessible the lives of early college women through their scrapbooks and other memorabilia. These records not only offer insights into a student's college experiences, but also provide an entrée into understanding the social conditions and historical period in which these women lived, the first half of the 20th century. The collections aim to portray the lives and times of these pioneers, highlighting their intellectual achievements and leisure activities, as well as the cultural and historical context of their experiences while attending Simmons.

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The Buildings of Simmons College: The Main College Building and Academic Campus

The Massachusetts Legislature granted the charter to incorporate Simmons Female College on May 24, 1899, and extensive studies were carried out to help plan the College's curriculum and courses of study.   After much planning, Simmons College opened its doors on St. Botolph Street October 9, 1902 to its first class of 146 students.

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John Simmons and the Presidents of Simmons College

The College Archives is pleased to present this retrospective on Simmons College's legacy of leadership. 

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