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Simmons Receives MIllions in Investment and Pays it Forward

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

by: Krystal Goodner Spratt

Louisville, KY May 27, 2021- It was truly a historic day for Louisville’s only HBCU

Simmons College of Kentucky. This morning as local media, Simmons board members,

stakeholders, educators and supporters filed onto our Administration and Library

Building for a press conference- select students were also invited to attend what would

be a life changing event.

Opening the floor and eloquently guiding this gathering was our Executive Vice

President, Dr. Frank Smith. Dr. Smith opened and broke down the purpose of the

coming together- to articulate to the community the “Five C’s of Black Student


● Competent Teachers

● Compassionate System

● Curriculum Relevance

● Capacity Building

● Connections Beyond Social Isolation

This event was also designated to exhibit the phrase “ Simmons is an economic

engine.” Simmons Provost, Dr. Barbara Young shared the announcement of Simmons’

latest gift- 2.7 million dollars from the federal government allocated just for HBCUS.

Young also shared that since being designated as an HBCU in 2015- Simmons has

generated more than 12 million dollars in investments.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also attended today’s press conference and echoed the

importance of Simmons College to our city’s economy and the upward mobility of an

underserved population.

The afternoon truly belonged though to our VIPS- our students. Following President

Cosby’s articulation of the” Five C’s” he emphasized the “C” compassion.

Prior to entering into the event students were handed an envelope they were asked not

to open until prompted. Our VP of Student Affairs, Phylis Clark was called up and she

directed the students to stand and open their envelope. Simmons paid it forward! Some

shouts, hand waving and tears accompanied them viewing their student bill which read

in red “paid in full.”

In all- Simmons invested nearly a half million dollars ( $429,138) to erase the debt of 65

students.This occurred for students enrolled in the spring 2020, fall 2020 and spring

2021 semesters.

During today’s press event, President Cosby also revealed the school's plan to add a

student center and headquarters building for the National Baptist Convention of

America- which is housed on Simmon’s campus.

Speakers for the event included: Nikki Jackson Lanier- KC2 Representative/Regional

Executive of the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Dr. Chris

Caldwell- VP of Academic Affairs, Simmons Educator and Councilman Jecorey Arthur,

Marland Cole of Evolve 502 and our mascot- Freddie the Falcon made a guest


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