Woman Makes History As The First Black President Of Simmons University In Over 120 Years!

by Gee NY
Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten. Image Credit: Simmons University

In a landmark moment for Simmons University in 2022, Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten was inaugurated as its ninth president, making history as the first African American to hold the position in the institution’s 120-year history.

The investiture ceremony, held on Monday, April 11 2022, was a momentous occasion attended by students, alumni, board members, colleagues, family, and friends, both in-person and virtually.

The event took place in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Room and commenced with an academic procession of faculty, accompanied by musical performances that set a tone of celebration and reverence.

Regina Pisa, Chair of the Simmons University Board of Trustees, expressed the significance of Wooten’s presidency, stating:

“President Wooten, we have been waiting for you for 120 years.”

Indeed, Wooten’s journey to the presidency began in the summer of 2020, amidst the challenges of the pandemic.

Despite the unprecedented circumstances, she has led Simmons University with passion and dedication, earning praise from various quarters for her commitment to mentorship, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Distinguished speakers at the ceremony, including U.S. Senator Edward Markey and Cornell University President Martha Pollack, lauded Wooten’s leadership qualities and intellectual contributions.

Senator Markey commended her courage and strategic skills, emphasizing her role in empowering the next generation of social justice champions.

Pollack highlighted Wooten’s scholarship in crisis management and organizational effectiveness, affirming her ability to elevate Simmons to new heights.

Virtual messages of congratulations poured in from prominent figures such as U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, underscoring the widespread recognition of Wooten’s historic achievement.

In her inaugural address, President Wooten expressed gratitude to her family, friends, and the Simmons community for their unwavering support.

Drawing on her extensive experience in higher education, she emphasized the transformative power of learning and the importance of inclusive leadership. Wooten outlined her vision for Simmons, highlighting initiatives to support faculty scholarship, enhance student engagement, and foster a culture of belonging.

As Simmons University enters a new chapter under President Wooten’s leadership, the investiture ceremony serves as a testament to her resilience and vision.

With a commitment to excellence and equity, Wooten aims to propel Simmons to even greater prominence in the higher education landscape.

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