Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons retires

Friday, April 19 marked a milestone in the life of Dr. Zoharah Simmons, as she was honored with a retirement party at the Keene Faculty Center, co-hosted by African American Studies, Center for Women and Gender Studies, and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.  

That list alone shows how involved she was at UF, but it doesn’t scratch the surface of her life experience as a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee volunteer in the 1960s, her activities in the broader civil rights and peace movements in the 70’s, and later with the American Friends Service Committee and academia. 

She traveled widely, lectured widely, and was always, in her heart and actions, a crusader for peace and justice. 

At least half of the over 80 people at her retirement party were Gainesville people who knew her from work outside of UF, showing her presence in the broader community. 

Dr. Paul Ortiz, of the SPOHP, said she may be retiring from the University of Florida, but she is not retiring from Community Organizing – a comment that drew rousing applause.

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