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Joyce Kolligian '87, '89SM Leaves Lasting Legacy at Simmons

Joyce Kolligian(July 8, 2013) -- Joyce Kolligian '87, '89SM passed away in June, leaving behind a lasting legacy that celebrates leadership and education.

Kolligian joined Simmons in 1993 as a consultant to the Simmons Leadership Conference, and she had served as the executive director of the conference since 2000. With Kolligian's inspired guidance, the conference expanded from a small, regional gathering of about 150 women to a nationally recognized, premier leadership event, boasting more than 3,000 attendees annually.

"Joyce was the creative force behind the conference," says longtime colleague Judy Benjamin, director of the Simmons Leadership Conference. "Her gift was building the program – she had an innate ability to put her finger on who was going to be relevant – who was ahead of the curve. She would announce a speaker that, sometimes, none of us had heard of, and six months later they would be named TIME magazine's person of the year!"

Kolligian was equally passionate about increasing access to education. She worked to ensure that proceeds from the conference helped to fund scholarships for Simmons graduate students.

"Joyce was like no one else; she was one of a kind," says Benjamin. "At Simmons, we want to preserve her legacy – the qualities and integrity of what she built and what she left us. Joyce had a very global view of things – she knew what we were doing was bigger than us, bigger than Simmons. It's about women's education, growth, and leadership."

To support the School of Management Scholarship Fund in Kolligian's memory, please visit


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