"Simmtober" Generates Buzz – and Support
Trustees' Generous Matching Challenge Inspires Giving
Trustee Kathy LaPoint '84, Board Chair Lauren Brisky '73, and President Helen Drinan '75LS, '78SM with over-sized birthday card for John Simmons.
(December 4, 2013) -- When you combine popular October Simmons events with a lively social media campaign, a fundraising challenge, a giant birthday card, and an appearance by "John Simmons" himself, the result is – Simmtober!
Thanks to the participation of alumnae/i, students, parents, trustees, faculty, staff, and friends, Simmtober – a month-long celebration of all things Simmons – generated lots of activity on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on campus. And the community rallied around two Simmtober goals: raise $1.899 million for The Simmons Fund from 1,899 donors by October 31. The fundraising got a big boost from a generous Trustee Challenge which matched all gifts made in the last 10 days of the month.
By the end of Simmtober, 1,934 people had made gifts, exceeding our goal. Though we missed our ambitious $1.899 million goal by $72,710, the number of gifts set an end-of-October record: 2,322.
"The community's enthusiastic, generous response to Simmtober and the Trustee Challenge is wonderful. The funds raised will support scholarships and other essentials that benefit our students," said Trustee Kathy LaPoint '84, chair of the Making Education Work Campaign.
Simmtober tapped into the energy around multiple October events: Family and Friends Weekend, the "How Women Become Political" forum co-hosted by Simmons, Leadership Weekend, the 30th anniversary of the Warburg Chair in International Relations, and Founders Day marking John Simmons's birthday.
Throughout Simmtober, a camera-ready cutout of John Simmons popped up everywhere from Fenway Park to Shanghai, and "John" himself stopped by Leadership Weekend to chat with President Drinan – and sign autographs.
Check out the #Simmtober twitter feed for tweets and photos.
Here's a sampling of messages from the birthday card for John Simmons:
"Your legacy lives on in the 1,000s of women who lead better lives because of your generosity – including me. Thank you."
Jenny Weiss '07, '14SM
"Thanks for creating such an accepting and diverse community. Happy birthday to the best college founder there ever was!"
Victoria Alves '17
"Thank you for changing my life!"
Leslie Lake '86, TS
"Simmons has helped me determine my life goals!"
Colleen Carmody '16
"Thanks for creating an environment for me to grow in!"
Kristie Flaherty '12
John Simmons at Fenway during the Playoffs
John Simmons visits Shanghai
The "Real" John Simmons at 300 The Fenway