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“I write to you in all humility to tell you of my plans to step down from the Brown presidency at the end of the current academic year and to thank you in advance for what will have been eleven deeply satisfying years at the helm of this wonderful institution," Simmons wrote in the email. "I recently decided that this is the ideal time both for Brown and for me personally to begin the process of transitioning to new leadership.
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While Simmons will resign as president, she will remain a professor of comparative literature and Africana studies. Simmon was the first black president to reside over an Ivy League school, as well as Brown's first female president. In 1995, she made history as the first black female president of a major college or university as the president of Smith College.