Commencement 2005 Speaker
BROWN UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT RUTH SIMMONS TO SPEAK AT UVM'S 2005 COMMENCEMENT
Ruth J. Simmons, president of Brown University, will deliver the graduation address at the University of Vermont's 2005 Commencement on Sunday, May 22. The ceremony will again be held on the University Green, a tradition that was re-established with last year's commencement for the university's 200th graduating class.
When Ruth J. Simmons assumed the presidency of Brown University in July 2001 she became the first black woman to lead an Ivy League institution. Simmons' story, her rise from a Texas sharecropping family to the Brown presidency, has made her one of the nation's most inspiring and visible higher education leaders. At Brown her initiatives have included moving swiftly to enrich academics by expanding the faculty, strengthening diversity throughout the university, and establishing a need-blind financial aid process. A scholar of Romance languages and literatures who earned her doctorate from Harvard University, Simmons' academic career has included leadership roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Smith College, where she was president from 1995 to 2001.