A purpose driven legacy


A name can be a powerful thing. Attach a name to an honorable cause or idea and it becomes so much more. The names Matthew and Rebecca Simmons, the impact they made and will make goes far beyond their years in the community.

The Simmons were hard working people who lived during a very difficult time in America. Segregation, racism, impoverished communities, minimal employment opportunities (common laborers being standard), and a lack of quality education were commonplace. However, Mr. and Mrs. Simmons were determined that their children would rise above circumstance and succeed. They were very successful. Six of their seven children graduated from college and the seventh child securing a long career with the U.S. Government through the military then civil service.

One of their children, Mr. James Simmons, has established an endowed scholarship in his parent’s names at Johnson C. Smith University where four out of their six college educated children graduated. Simmons comments that he established the scholarship “as a legacy of their accomplishment and as a testament of their heartfelt commitment to education. These scholarships will be granted to underprivileged students at JCSU for years to come. This program will also be in their honor and will etch their names in the historic fabric of JCSU.”

Mr. Simmons’ dedication to education also extends locally. The CTS/CHS (Colleton Training School/Colleton High School) Alumni Association, of which he is a member, was established with one of the principles of providing scholarships to underprivileged students in the Walterboro and Colleton County area. The organization was founded in 1999 and began granting scholarships in 2001, following its first grand reunion celebration. It is his mother’s commitment and dedication to the importance of education that inspires Mr. Simmons to do the work that he does to provide scholarship opportunities to underprivileged students.

Donations to the Matthew and Rebecca Simmons Endowed Scholarship fund can be sent to Johnson C. Smith University, with a directive/memorandum designating them to the Matthew and Rebecca Simmons Endowed Scholarships at Johnson C. Smith University, 1000 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, N.C: 28216 or electronically at jcsu.edu. Mr. Simmons thanks you on behalf of the countless numbers of young underprivileged students at JCSU, both now and in years to come.