A Message from the President

February 19, 2021

Condolences on the Passing of Dr. Esther Ward Simmons

I am deeply saddened to inform you of the passing of Dr. Esther Ward Simmons, a beloved member of the Bowie State University community and Professor and Provost Emerita.

 A scholar, educator and higher education administrator, Dr. Ward Simmons devoted most of her career to Bowie State University, where she served with distinction. Among the positions she held at Bowie State are Professor of English, Chairperson of the English Department, head of the Division of the Humanities, Vice President for Academic Administration, and Provost and Assistant to the President.

In recent years, Dr. Ward Simmons worked with her husband, Dr. George Simmons to research the history of Bowie State University, as it transformed from a school to teach formerly enslaved African American citizens into the vibrant, comprehensive university of 6,250 students that it is today. Their work was published in a beautifully designed commemorative Bowie State University history book.

Because of invaluable service of Dr. Ward Simmons to Bowie State University, the Special Collections Room in the Thurgood Marshall Library was renamed in her honor.

I extend heartfelt condolences from the Bowie State University community to her husband, Dr. Simmons, and her surviving children during this difficult time.

The University of the Southern Caribbean, where Dr. Ward-Simmons graduated and served as an interim president, is hosting a virtual memorial service for her on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, at 2 p.m.