Alan Wickstrom says goodbye to Simmons


Logo courtesy of Simmons University Athletics

Megan Purser, Staff Writer

Ali Kantor, the director of athletics at Simmons University, released an email on Friday, April 24 to all student-athletes relaying that it was Alan Wickstrom’s, the director of athletics communications, last day.

Wickstrom, known as Wick to many, was the first sports information director (SID) at Simmons and had been working there almost six years, so it came as a shock to many student-athletes that he was leaving.  

Anna Leedham, rising senior and member of the Simmons swim team, stated that she knew he would never have chosen to go.

“I was devastated when I read the email. I’ve known Wick since I was a freshman and he loved everything about Simmons. Wick made athletes feel recognized and that’s why he’s the absolute best at his job. He made everybody feel like a somebody,” stated Leedham.

Because of his impact, many student-athletes reached out to Wickstrom’s Simmons email for a final goodbye. However, his email account had already expired even though it was his last day. Wickstrom proceeded to reach out to student-athletes, explaining why his position was no longer.

Simmons field hockey team honors Wickstrom with a post on their Instagram.

“My position was eliminated. Effective yesterday (April 23) at noon, I was no longer employed by Simmons and I have no idea what the plan for them is going forward,” wrote Wickstrom in the email.

The office of Helen Drinan, the president of Simmons University, also released an official statement on the matter relaying that 12 staff positions have been eliminated due to the financial health of the school.

“To ensure the long-term financial health of our institution during this pandemic, we’ve made the difficult decision to eliminate 12 staff positions. While painful, this decision is in the best interest of our university as we manage financial losses from student room and board refunds and cancelled programming,” stated Drinan.

Wickstrom and 11 others at Simmons were not immune to the troubles caused by COVID-19. Losing jobs is something a lot of people are facing right now, as the number of people filing for unemployment grows daily 

However, that has not stopped Wickstrom from looking at the positive side of this predicament.

“I’m not angry or bitter towards anyone or even the situation. This isn’t a situation specific to Simmons, tough decisions are being made all around the world. I’m just thankful for the opportunity and time I was able to spend there. The student-athlete population and I have a bond that I wouldn’t be able to replicate anywhere else. My experience at Simmons was extremely special. I wish the future of athletics the best and hope they can cover my position successfully.” Wickstrom stated.

Kantor said she does have plans for the athletics community in Wickstrom’s absence moving forward. Athletics have partnered with people across the University, bringing in help from the school’s communications team as well as introducing a new, robust internship program for people interested in sports communications. 

Though this is the plan for now, things might change if Simmons University chooses to go online this coming fall semester. Should the school have a delayed start or move classes online, Kantor assures that athletics have everything covered and all athletes will be able to have a wonderful season.

Check out the Voice’s further coverage of layoffs at Simmons due to COVID-19 here.