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Though the University has not yet made official plans to commemorate President Ruth Simmons this year, there will be "opportunities throughout the year to honor and express appreciation to the president," said Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations. Simmons announced Thursday she would be stepping down from her position at the end of the academic year, culminating an 11-year tenure.

"There's a tremendous amount of appreciation and gratitude for the amount of work that she's done and the progress that has been made under her leadership," Quinn said. "I'm sure every community will want to do something" to honor her, she added. Simmons was the first black president and the second female president of an Ivy League institution when she was named to head the University in 2001.

Quinn said groups, both on campus and outside the University, will likely "extend invitations to honor her" now that she has publicly announced her decision to step down at the end of the academic year.

Planning for Commencement normally begins in October, so no plans related to the year-end ceremony have been formalized at this point, Quinn said.



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