Annette Caldwell Simmons and Harold C. Simmons have an enduring legacy of service and generosity benefiting SMU.
Born in Tyler, Texas, Mrs. Simmons earned a B.S. degree in elementary education from SMU in 1957. After graduating, she taught first, second and third grades at Maple Lawn Elementary School in Dallas and at Clark Field, a U.S. air base in the Philippines. She married Harold Simmons in 1980.
Mrs. Simmons is a former member of the board of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and has been active in numerous other SMU programs. The couple has endowed four President’s Scholars and the Simmons Distinguished Professorship in Marketing in the Cox School of Business. In addition to her work at SMU, Mrs. Simmons has served on boards for numerous civic organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Parkland Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation of Texas and the Baylor Health Center System Foundation. She also has served on the Crystal Charity Advisory Board.
Mr. Simmons is founder, chair and CEO of Contran Corporation, a holding company with interests in several industries. He is a former member of the executive boards of Cox School of Business and Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. His relationship with SMU began in 1961 when he bought a small drugstore near SMU, which became a popular lunch and shopping spot. After expanding to 100 stores, he sold the chain, which developed into Eckerd Drugs. Mr. Simmons then launched his career as an investor.
The gift naming the Annette Caldwell Simmons School provided the lead commitment for Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall and two endowments to support faculty and student quality. The Leon Simmons Deanship and Faculty Recruitment Fund, named in honor of Harold Simmons’ father, endows the dean’s position and provides resources for faculty recruitment and innovative research. The Fairess Simmons Graduate Fellowship Fund, named in honor of Mr. Simmons’ mother, establishes a minimum of 10 endowed fellowships for Master’s and Ph.D. students.
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