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
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
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