Simmons College Is Naming a New School After the Late Gwen Ifill

By A.J. Katz 

Legendary TV and print journalist the late Gwen Ifill is receiving a unique honor.

Today, Simmons College announced the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts and Humanities in honor of Ifill, who graduated from the Boston school with a communications degree in 1977.

The school will formally launch in 2018, and according to WBUR, Ifill’s family is donating her documents, honorary degrees and the blazers she wore when she moderated vice presidential debates (2004, 2008) to the school’s archives.


“For over 100 years, our mission at Simmons has been to prepare our students to lead meaningful lives and build successful careers.  Gwen’s example stands tall in that mission,” Helen Drinan, Simmons College president said in a statement. “The kind of unimpeded curiosity Gwen brought to her work, coupled with her warmth, integrity and commitment to truth-telling, is something all of our students aspire to – no matter what field of study they pursue. We are extraordinarily proud of her and so pleased to formalize her legacy at Simmons this way.”

Ifill died of cancer one year ago today. She was only 61.

First a print reporter, Ifill moved to TV news in the ’90s and covered politics and Congress for NBC News. She left NBC for PBS in 1999 to moderate Washington Week, and co-anchored PBS NewsHour with Judy Woodruff. The two were officially named NewsHour co-anchors in 2013.

Woodruff and the late Ifill received the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism earlier this year.