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The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

Kotzen Scholarship to be discontinued after 10 years

In place of the Kotzen Scholarship, prospective first-year students can now apply for The Simmons Distinguished Scholar Award.
Kotzen+Scholarship+to+be+discontinued+after+10+years
Eri O’Brien

On September 22, Gilbert and Marcia Kotzen Scholarship recipients gathered in the Kotzen Room for a welcome-back lunch. At this lunch, Lianne Aguilar Barrientos, a first-year student from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, learned that her Kotzen Scholar cohort would be the last. 

Behind the scenes, talks of discontinuing the scholarship had been going on for quite some time, said Kerri Brophy, Vice President of Enrollment Management.

“Over the last couple of years, we have been working with the donor to kind of sunset the program,” said Brophy, referring to Linda K. Paresky, a Simmons alum and established philanthropist. Paresky worked with Simmons to establish the scholarship program in 2013, named in memory of her parents. 

The scholarship is not fully donor-funded and is partially funded by the university. 

According to Bob Dunn, the Director of Campaign and Development Communications in the Office of Advancement and Alumni Services, discussions of phasing out the Kotzen Scholarship happened over a year and was not “a sudden decision… it was a conversation.” Dunn noted that he was not directly a part of these conversations.  

The Voice was given two different timelines of when talks of discontinuing the scholarship began. 

When asked if it was a mutual decision between Simmons and Pareski to discontinue the Kotzen Scholarship, Dunn replied that “there were decisions on both sides,” but that “everyone’s very pleased and grateful to her for what the Kotzen Scholars Program has accomplished and continues to accomplish.” 

In place of the Kotzen Scholarship, prospective first-year students can now apply for The Simmons Distinguished Scholar Award. Like the Kotzen Scholarship, this merit-based scholarship will provide full tuition, room, and board. 

However, unlike Kotzen Scholars, recipients will not receive an annual $3,000 stipend. According to an older version of the Simmons website, the stipend was for “academic pursuits such as study abroad, research support, and more.”

Daniela Gil Veras, a senior Kotzen Scholar on the Pre-Law track, expressed concern for “future scholars” who will not receive the stipend. 

“It made it possible for me to be able to go to college without putting way too much financial strain on my parents,” she said. 

She noted that she plans to take the LSAT this year because the stipend will cover the fees. 

Less than two months into her first year of college, Aguilar Barrientos is still figuring out her future as a Kotzen Scholar and how she may use her stipend. 

“I think that it’s going to open a lot of doors for me. And especially when we’re thinking about internships or studying abroad. I’m really excited to even just think about it,” said Barrientos.

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About the Contributors
Jamie Perkins, Staff Writer
Jamie Perkins (2024, they/he) is a Communications major on the journalism track with a double minor in Photography and Women's and Gender Studies. They love both film and digital photography, reading, and spending time with his best friend/dog Kinzie!
Eri O’Brien, Visuals Editor
Eri O’Brien (2024, she/her) is majoring in Studio Art and Communications on the Integrated Media track. She loves taking photos, writing, and going on walks with her dog Jeffrey.

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