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100th Simmons Commencement Celebrated May 14

Alumna Lisa Mullins, Internationally Respected Radio Host, Delivers Keynote Address

BOSTON (May 15, 2005) — A festive ceremony celebrating the 100th commencement of Simmons College was held Sunday, May 14 to award degrees to nearly 2,000 graduates.

The graduates heard one of their own as their commencement speaker: Lisa Mullins, a 1980 Simmons College graduate and host and senior producer of "The World" public radio program.

Simmons College received its charter in 1899 and held its first classes in 1901, the first woman's college in the nation to educate women in the liberal arts and professional career preparation. Its first commencement was in 1905.

Today Simmons is a nationally recognized private university that includes an undergraduate college for women, a graduate business school for women, and co-educational graduate programs in social work, health studies, library and information science, and the liberal arts.

Commencement speaker Mullins, a 20-year veteran of radio journalism, has been named one of the best announcers in public radio by program directors across the United States, and has received national and international awards for her work in revealing the connections Americans have with people around the globe.

Mullins's program "The World" is an international radio program produced by Public Radio International, the BBC World Service, and WGBH Boston. It reaches more than two million listeners on 189 stations across the United States; the program is also heard in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

During the commencement ceremony at the Bayside Exposition Center, Simmons President Daniel S. Cheever Jr. and Trustee Chair Lucia Luce Quinn awarded honorary degrees to Mullins and:

--G. Rita Dudley Grant, a 1973 Simmons graduate widely known as an advocate for women, director of the Center for Multi-Cultural Training in Psychology at Boston City Hospital, and Assistant Commissioner of Health in the Virgin Islands.

--Edna Hibel, a world-renowned visual artist whose work celebrates humanity. Hibel has received numerous humanitarian honors for championing causes for children and medical care.

--Cheryl Jacques, former president of the national Human Rights Campaign, and state senator from 1998 to 2003.

--Amartya Sen, 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics. Sen, a professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University, is recognized for his work in welfare economics to improve understanding of major forces contributing to poverty, inequality, and famine.