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Simmons' 2011 Commencement Student Speaker Darcie Guilbert began her commencement address by sharing her first Simmons memory. At 17 years old, on her way to a Simmons College campus tour, she told her parents:

"I am not going to an all-women's college,
so why are we wasting time even looking!?"

The graduates erupted with laughter remembering how they, too, had similar attitudes. But, they leave Simmons unable to imagine their college experience any other way. Many girls worry that there won't be an active social scene, that women's colleges are elitist, or that they are just finishing schools. We want to set the record straight about the benefits of attending an all-women college, specifically Simmons.

Woman on Campus Sarah Galvez debunks women's college myths with some Simmons students
Simmons students debunk the myths about women's colleges

According to a recent study, students at women's colleges:

"Women's colleges provide a space where young women mature and acquire marketable leadership skills without fear of gendered social judgment." Huffington Post Blog: 5 Reasons to Consider a Women's College, by Simmons President Helen Drinan »

  • Participate more in the classroom
  • Report higher levels of academic challenge
  • Exhibit a greater desire to contribute to the welfare of their community
  • Collaborate more with their peers

Why are women's colleges students getting these results? Because...

  • There are more female role models and mentors at women's colleges
  • More women's college students enroll in traditionally male disciplines
  • Student leadership roles at women's colleges are more accessible to women leaders

Data from the National Survey of Student Engagement 2004

Breaking the Myths

MYTH: I'll never meet any boys, or make friends outside of Simmons.

Arianna King

"I am the first to admit that I believed this before coming to Simmons. After my first few weeks on campus I realized that this truly was just a myth. One of the best things about being at Simmons is the location. Simmons is within walking distance of fifteen other colleges, and there are plenty of opportunities to go and meet students from these schools. We are also a part of the Colleges of the Fenway (COF), which is a consortium of six schools in the Fenway area. Not only can we take classes at these other colleges, throughout the year there are tons of events where the entire COF is invited. Some of my favorites are the beginning of the year block party, the comedy show, the ski trip, and the spring carnival. With all of the events going on and being in Boston, you would have to work hard to not meet anyone outside of the college!"

Arianna King, '13 Nursing Major

MYTH: It's only for shy girls and introverts. I'm already confident.

Phuong Nguy

"It isn't just about who you already are, but who you want to be. Simmons professors not only push you to exceed their expectations but your very own. Because of this, I realized my love for writing and discovered that there is more than just self-confidence, there is self-expression, creativity, and passion."

Phuong Nguy '13 English Major (Cinema & Media Studies Minor)

MYTH: Girls are catty and cliquish. All of my friends are boys.

Sarah Strempfer

"Growing up in a small town meant that I had gone to school with the same kids since kindergarten. After over a decade with the same people I just assumed that most girls were catty because of the small, petty disagreements that I had gotten into over the years. Like most, I was nervous when I came to Simmons, but my thoughts changed when I took the time to get to know the girls that were here. It wasn't like high school. The students at Simmons are all coming together for a common goal, which is to get a great education. I have met wonderful people here who I know will be my lifelong friends. If you want to befriend the male population, just remember, we are in a city! Being so close to other coed colleges means there are plenty of ways to find male friends."

Sarah Strempfer, '14 Nursing Major

MYTH: All the students will be feminists, or only concerned with women's issues.

Molly Bohannon

"I always joke when talking with my friends and family that the biggest feminists I have met at Simmons are my male professors! They are so encouraging through their belief in our ability to succeed. Simmons attracts a wide variety of students, and to say that we are a school of 'feminists' would be overlooking the individuality that Simmons promotes in its students."

Molly Bohannon, '13 International Relations & Political Science Major

Women's College Graduates are Pioneers

Women college graduates are often trailblazers who've paved the way for other women to follow. Here are a few women's college grad firsts...

  • FIRST woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize
  • FIRST American woman to climb three of the world's tallest peaks
  • FIRST woman general of the U.S. Army
  • FIRST woman neurosurgeon in the U.S.
  • FIRST woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature
  • FIRST woman publisher of TIME-LIFE
  • FIRST woman to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • FIRST woman elected president of an NAACP chapter
  • FIRST female CEO of a commercial airline
  • FIRST woman elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • FIRST woman ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church USA
  • FIRST woman to receive Scientific Achievement Award for cancer research

Data from