Photo of Dr. Ruth Simmons
Distinguished University President and Higher Education Leader to Speak at Trinity
Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D., to discuss her journey to becoming president and higher ed’s role in addressing a history of slavery

Trinity University is excited to welcome Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D., as the 2024 DeCoursey Lecturer. A distinguished university president and higher education leader, Simmons will talk with Trinity President Vanessa B. Beasley, Ph.D., about her remarkable journey to university presidency and her trailblazing efforts to promote colleges and universities as these communities have come to terms with their histories relative to slavery. The event will take place in Stieren Theater at Trinity University on Thursday, February 29, at 5 p.m. and will also be live-streamed on Tiger Network. The event is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required.

Simmons is a Distinguished Presidential Fellow at Rice University and adviser to the president of Harvard University on HBCU Initiatives. She served as president of Prairie View A&M University until March 2023. Prior to joining Prairie View, she was president of Brown University from 2001-12 and president of Smith College from 1995-2001. She has a Ph.D. from Harvard and is fluent in French. Simmons details her life story in her New York Times bestselling book, Up Home: One Girl’s Journey, which was named a New Yorker and New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year.

“Dr. Simmons’ story demonstrates the power of intellectual curiosity and courage and aligns with Trinity University’s core values of enduring excellence, intentional inclusion, and perpetual discovery,” Beasley said. “I have admired her leadership for many years, and I am grateful for this opportunity to speak with and, more importantly, listen to her.”

The DeCoursey Lecture Series is made possible through the generosity of the late General Elbert DeCoursey and Mrs. Esther DeCoursey of San Antonio.

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