Evett L. Simmons '79 Center for Multicultural Appreciation Celebrated
Ms. Evett L. Simmons '79 is a member of the FSC Board of Trustees and an attorney recognized nationally for her advocacy for diversity. | More photos of the celebration on FSC.mocs photostream »
A joyous celebration during Homecoming 2013 inaugurated the Evett L. Simmons ’79 Center for Multicultural Appreciation at Florida Southern and honored Ms. Simmons, a member of the FSC Board of Trustees and an attorney recognized nationally for her advocacy for diversity.
Ms. Simmons gave a generous donation to support the Center, which will house FSC’s Multicultural Student Council, offer a place for various minority groups on campus to gather, and encourage awareness of diversity at FSC. The Center will be located for now in an office building on Callahan Court until a new one can be built.
The celebration, held in the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, featured gospel hymns, one of Ms. Simmons’ poems recited in Spanish, an interpretive dance, and a blessing in Hebrew, among other presentations.
In a testimonial, Joshua Winfield, a sophomore biology major and Ms. Simmons’ nephew, said participants in the Multicultural Student Council see the organization as a family.
“We do this to pave the way for future students. The best part is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can do in the community,” he said.
FSC President Anne Kerr praised the determination, faith, and character that have carried Ms. Simmons from a humble childhood to one of the most respected African-American women in the country.
“She is a revered alumna, a beloved trustee, an inspiration to all of us, and a dear personal friend,” she said.
Ms. Simmons thanked friends and relatives who came to the celebration and read a brief original composition which included the line, “In God’s eyes, we are one.” After the celebration, she said she hoped the Center would be a place for minority students to express their cultures.
“This will be a focal point for students of different cultures. We taught them the importance of unity. This will give them self-confidence they are just as good as anybody else,” she said.
Ms. Simmons, formerly the owner of the largest African-American-owned commercial law firm in Florida, is a shareholder and Chief Diversity Officer for Greenspoon Marder Attorneys at Law in Port St. Lucie. She has received numerous awards for professional, civic, and cultural leadership, including the 2012 Multicultural Leadership Award by the Florida Diversity Council.