Meet the president’s wife: Jenné Simmons

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by Olivia Samples, Advertising Director

President Jay Simmons has been written about numerous times, and everyone knows when he and his bowtie walks into a room.

But who they should know is our first lady, Jenné Simmons.

Jenné Simmons is sweet as tea and has a bright personality accompanied by a southern drawl that makes you feel like you’ve been chatting forever.

The first lady grew up in Mobile, Alabama, while her husband grew up just a few miles north in Muscle Shoals. Both said they loved their childhoods in Alabama, but have found their place in the Midwest.

“I absolutely love the Midwest, and I don’t know if I will ever go back,” she said.

The couple both attended Birmingham-Southern University, although she didn’t know which direction she was going in at first.

“I went in as a theatre major, changed my major about every semester and towards the end ended up with a human resources degree,” Jenné Simmons said.

The Simmons met when Jay Simmons was a Big Brother to Alpha Chi Omega, Jenné Simmons’ sorority.

“I went to college thinking I was going to be a career person, but I think I was the first one to fall in love and get married,” Jenné Simmons said.

“I imagined this before Jay imagined it,” she said. “He is so committed. If you look in the dictionary beside liberal arts education, you will see his picture. It’s hard not to support him. I have faith.”

These days Jenné Simmons is one of the friendliest faces at Simpson.

She is involved in the community and always friendly at that. She can be found at some of her favorite places in town, like JRene and Adorn on the square.

But when acting as first lady, she has many responsibilities.

“My roles are mainly hosting events, being involved in the community, and in April, I will take over being president of the Simpson Guild,” she said.

The Simpson Guild fundraises to help students in emergency situations as well as to help enhance the community.

Last year, they raised money to build the concessions stand at the football field. Many Simpson faculty and staff members are involved, but recently, it has turned into a community project.

Now that the Simmons’ have been in the leadership position of Simpson College for almost three years, there have been major changes on our campus.

When asked if she ever found it hard to support the president, she said, “Not a bit. What can get inconvenient at times is that there is a lot going on behind the scenes, and fortunately, I don’t know any of it.”

Jenné Simmons said her favorite part of Simpson is interacting with the students.

“(Students) are just so engaging and exciting and well spoken, and it’s very nice. Not all college students are as eager to take on the world,” she said.

Jenné Simmons continues to be the friendly face of Simpson and continues to offer her southern hospitality by saying, “If you ever need a hug or a load of clean laundry, call and come on down.”