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Boston-Area College Will Name School After Trailblazing Journalist Gwen Ifill

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

For decades, journalist Gwen Ifill served as a role model for reporting with integrity, clarity and fierce intelligence. Now students at one Boston-area college will be able to study in a school that bears her name.


According to the Boston Herald, Simmons College announced the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts and Humanities on Tuesday to honor its famous alumna. Ifill graduated from Simmons in 1977.

The announcement comes on the anniversary of Ifill’s death last year. She died of cancer.


As The Root’s Kirsten West Savali noted last year, Ifill was a “journalist’s journalist” who provided a blueprint for the black women in media who would follow after her. Ifill worked as a print reporter for the New York Times and Washington Post before switching to broadcast news.

Ifill covered politics for NBC News and, most recently, PBS, where she hosted the nightly program NewsHour. In doing so, she was part of the first all-female anchor team on network news (her co-host was Judy Woodruff).

Following news of her death, then-President Barack Obama honored Ifill at a news conference, noting that through her journalistic vigor and integrity, “she did her country a great service.”

Read more at the Boston Herald.

Staff writer, The Root.

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Kitties, Stars and Glitter!

Simmons is a fantastic school in that they have some really great programs focused on public service. In my non-profit years a great number of colleagues had pursued work there and in each case it was immensely positive. So, hurrah! Good for them. Also, not much of a surprise :) Simmons gets overshadowed by Boston’s other schools, but for actual working people in the area it has been a godsend of quality, flexible upward mobility.