Ruth Simmons Officially Named The First Woman President Of Prairie View A&M University


December 19, 2017

As the former president of Brown University, Ruth Simmons is known as the first Black president of an Ivy League institution. Now, the higher education leader is continuing to make her impact as the first woman to become president of Prairie View A&M University.  

Serving as the interim president of the Historically Black University since July, Simmons was officially named the school’s eighth president earlier this month.


“I think this is one of the best things that could ever happen to Prairie View,” HBCU Buzz reports university professor Dr. Fred Bonner saying.

As a lifelong educator, Simmons stepped into her first presidency role in 1995 at Smith College. From 2001-2012 she served as the president of Brown University. Outside of her presidential positions, Simmons has worked in several academic and administrative positions at institutions like Princeton University, Spelman College and the University of Southern California. Currently, she sits on the Board of Trustees at Rice University and has served on the boards at Princeton and Howard University.

Simmons spoke to Black Enterprise about her plans of moving Prairie View A&M forward while focusing deeply on ways to improve its academics and resources.


“We have a lot of work to do in the faculty recruitment, faculty development,” she said. “We’re going to strengthen the curriculum and the teaching and scholarships. Faculty is the most important ingredient for a successful university.”

Congratulations, Dr. Simmons! We wish you the best in your new role. 

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