Simpson’s History Marked with Challenges, Successes


by Cole Zimmerman

I think most would agree that after spending almost 40 years here at Simpson – first as a student, then an admissions counselor, an advancement director and finally as an admissions director – it must surely be a special place for me. And they’d be absolutely correct.

When pressed as to why I’ve “stayed put” for so long, it’s always been an easy answer – I started working here at just the perfect time in Simpson’s history during the late 1970s.

It was just as Simpson was taking off with new ideas, not only with immediate plans , but ones for the future.

Buildings were going up and down, academic rigor was intensifying, varsity athletic success was becoming a high priority and, most importantly, just the right mix of people were driving it all.

That “plan of attack” has continued almost unabated right up to now; our 150th anniversary.

From President Bob McBride to President John Byrd, from Admissions Directors John Kellogg to Deb Tierney, from Professors Joe Walt to Fred Jones and from Coaches Jim Williams to Henry Christowski, Simpson has grown into something exciting. These colleagues and mentors, plus many more of us, have played a huge role in the exponential growth of Simpson’s enrollment and increased recognition.

Finally, a large reason Simpson is a special place for me is personal. I met my wife, Pam, here and watched my daughter, Lauren, graduate in 2005 while now looking forward to seeing my son, Ian, graduate in 2011.

These years have been filled with many challenges and successes, but most importantly, with great friends at a great college.

Thanks, Simpson College.