The Inauguration of
Ruth J. Simmons
Prairie View A&M University: A compelling legacy, a bright future

Ruth J. Simmons, 8th president of Prairie View A&M University

Ruth J. Simmons

Ruth J. Simmons serves as President of Prairie View A&M University. She was President and Professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Studies at Brown University from 2001-2012. Under her leadership, Brown made significant strides in improving its standing as one of the world’s finest research universities.

After completing her Ph.D. in 1973 in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, she served in various faculty and administrative roles at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College before her appointment in 1999 as President of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States. She launched a number of important academic initiatives at Smith, including an engineering program, the first at an American women’s college.

Simmons is the recipient of many honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship to France, the 2001 President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the 2002 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the 2004 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the Foreign Policy Association Medal, and the Centennial Medal from Harvard University. Simmons is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves on the boards of FCAU, NV, and Square, as well as a number of non-profit boards, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture; the Holdsworth Center; Rice University; and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Awarded numerous honorary degrees, in 2011, she received the Brown faculty’s highest honor: the Susan Colver Rosenberger Medal. In 2012, the president of France named her a ‘chevalier’ of the French Legion of Honor.

Learn more about the legacy of Prairie View A&M University.

Schedule of Events

General admission RSVP to attend inauguration events. Tickets are not required.

General Admission RSVP

Showcase: Colleges and School
Demonstrations, latest technology, lectures and workshops

8:00 am – 12:00 pm, Review Campus Map for locations

Smart Agriculture, Genomics, and Food and Water Security Research
Carden Waller Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) Building Auditorium

This showcase will include a demonstration of Smart Agriculture equipment such as drones and remote, real-time sensors for water, soil, and air. It will include state-of-the-art techniques used to monitor soil carbon dioxide emission and present real-time soil-water solutions and a demonstration using the latest genomics-sequencing technology to identify harmful and beneficial food and non-food bacteria. This demonstration will include details on how to grow healthy leafy greens and microgreens in a garden, patio area, and in pots around the house. A sampling of different collard green-based snacks and dishes will be shared along with their recipes and nutritional values.

PVAMU Fabrication Design Center & Award Winning Student Architectural Designs
Fabrication Center

The School’s state-of-the-art Fabrication Design Center will house the latest technology in laser cutters, CNC routers, wood and metal tools, and 3D printers. The intent is to have the process of modeling and construction done in one location, which offers opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration, and cross-disciplinary interaction.

Anatomical Visualization and Simulation Center
E. E. O’Banion Bldg., Room 411

The AVASC integrates multiple learning platforms, 2-D, 3-D and Virtual Reality, in relation to the human anatomy. The center contains traditional anatomical models, virtual dissection tables, plastinate models and 3-D printers. The showcase will provide the opportunity to observe and manipulate virtual dissection of human anatomy, MRIs, CT scans and anatomical case studies.

Music & Theater Student Performances
Hobart Taylor Bldg., Dr. H. Edison Anderson Recital Hall

Students from the Music Program will be showcased in ensembles, vocal, and instrumental performances.

Financial Empowerment: From Financial Literacy to Wealth Creation
Agriculture/Business Building, Various rooms – 432 (4th floor); Trading room (Room 112, 1st floor); Collins auditorium (Room 127, 1st floor)

Presentations will include personal financial planning; understanding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and their potential impact on commerce; and, small business creation and entrepreneurship. Live demonstrations will include stock trades using Bloomberg terminals and projects created through the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program (IEP).

Minority Achievement, Creativity and High Ability (MACH-III) Center
Delco 228

The Department of Health and Kinesiology’s research-based Wellness program is designed to enhance community sustainability through faculty and student outreach. The program seeks to increase and improve community knowledge about healthy eating and living. In addition, our faculty members introduce students to civic leaders and community-based organizations who wish to collaborate, in an effort to educate and improve the quality of health and wellness throughout Harris County.

Innovation: Engineers Solving Real-World Problems
Electrical Engineering Building

During this showcase, engineers will demonstrate and display projects which highlight how engineers create solutions to solve real-world problems using the latest technologies in the fields of Big Data Analytics, Computational Biology, Cybersecurity, Smart Power Grids, Smart Cities and Autonomous Vehicles. Research center personnel, including faculty, research staff, and students, will share their findings, display modern research facilities, and discuss research topics with visitors.

Juvenile Crime Prevention Center & Psychology Clinic
Don Clark Building

This showcase will include a tour of (a) the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center, a statewide research and training resource on juvenile delinquency and its prevention; (b) our Texas-authorized courtroom, which provides a training site for students and a site for jury trials; and (c) our Psychology Training Clinic, a community mental health center that simultaneously provides needed mental health services for the region and training for Ph.D. Clinical Adolescent Psychology graduate students.

Simulation Technology Pedagogy (STP)
Panther Room (University College)

Simulation Technology Pedagogy (STP) is the 21st-century acceptable tool for nursing education, practice, and research. This showcase will provide demonstrations of teaching and learning using STP as a substitute for a live patient and feature illustrations and presentations of simulations across the lifespan, including various exercises featuring community and mental health scenarios, presenting the BSN, MSN, and Doctoral programs.

Preparing the Next Generation of Physicians
E. E. O’Banion Bldg. Room 127

This showcase will include (a) a tour of the National Library of Medicine exhibit titled “Food and Enslavement in Early America”; (b) our student Leadership & Research expose` which highlights student research including conference presentations and publications; (c) our student showcase of success, featuring UMA alumni who are practicing medicine in the areas of OB/GYN, General Surgery and Vascular Surgery, Dentistry and Veterinary medicine.

Learn more about academics at Prairie View A&M University.

Symposium: Scholars’ Voices
A Study of African American Culture and History in the HBCU Curriculum

9:00 am – 11:00 am, Willie A. Tempton, Sr. Memorial Student Center (MSC), Opal Johnson Smith Auditorium


W. Gabriel Selassie I, PVAMU ’88
Ralph Bunche Associate Professor of U.S. History and African American Studies, Los Angeles Community College


Melanye Price, PVAMU ’95
Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Rutgers University

Author, The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race; and Dreaming Blackness: Black Nationalism and African American Public Opinion

Paula Giddings
Elizabeth A. Woodson ’22 Professor Emerita of Africana Studies, Smith College

Author, When and Where I Enter; In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement; and Ida, a Sword Among Lions

Beverly Guy-Sheftall
Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies and English, Spelman College

(Ed.), Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought; Co-author, Gender Talk: The Struggle for Equality in African American Communities

The PVAMU Legacy Luncheon
Commemorating Our Rich History

11:30 am

by invitation only

Prelude & Processional
1:30 pm, Panther Stadium

Investiture Ceremony
2:00 pm, Panther Stadium

Inauguration Reception
“Celebrating Our Bright Future”

Panther Stadium

The Inauguration Celebration will immediately follow the Investiture Ceremony, and is open to the public.

The PVAMU Legacy Dinner
Honoring Our Eighth President

7:00 pm

by invitation only