Renowned journalis and author Gwen Ifill is still being celebrated one year after her untimely passing, and now she’s receiving a well-deserved honor from her undergraduate alma mater.
Just months after The Washington Press Club and PBS Newshour launched a fellowship program bearing her name, Simmons College announced on Tuesday that they plan to unveil the new Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts and Humanity in fall 2018. The college will also reportedly house some of Ifill’s papers and other personal affects, according to PBS.
The award-winning media icon graduated from Simmons College in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication before to landing a job with the Boston-Hearald, where she interned while in college. She later went on to excel in positions with the New York Times, Baltimore Evening Sun and Washington Post, ultimately transitioning into television as a reporter for NBC in 1994.
In 2004, Ifill became widely known for becoming the first Black woman to moderate a Vice Presidential Debate. She also moderated the 2008 Vice Presidential Debate and the 2016 Democratic Presidential Debate alongside Judy Woodruff. The NYC native also published the New York Times best-selling book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama in 2009.
The world was left shocked and heartbroken when Gwen passed away from complications associated with breast and endometrial cancer in November of 2016 at the age of 61.
The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts and Humanity is set to enroll around 800 students when it opens next fall.