The Class of 1979 Reunion Planning Committee is pleased to announce the establishment of the Wm. David Simmons Memorial Scholarship Fund at Southwestern University.

David Simmons genuinely loved Southwestern. The only class agent ever to serve the Class of 1979, he was also elected Student Senate President and student representative to the Board of Trustees and helped establish the Southwestern Student Foundation. Although he entered with the Class of 1980, David graduated Magna Cum Laude with the Class of 1979 and went on to the University of Texas Law School.

David was a man who knew where he was going. Obstacles encountered along the way were handled without fanfare or drama. For example, friends remember when David discovered he had diabetes. It was as if he had discovered he had red hair – just another fact about him. No drama, no problem.

After law school, David continued his path of quiet activism and caring while earning the respect of friends and colleagues through principled, respectful and thoughtful discussion of issues. He worked at only two law firms during his 20-plus-year practice as an attorney, an achievement that can be appreciated more and more as time passes. Upon his death, the Dallas Bar Association passed a resolution noting David’s excellence in litigation. It is easy to imagine David resolving complex disputes in his calm, logical and civil way, all the while earning lifelong respect and friendship from his opposition.

David’s plate was full. He was active in the Southwestern University Alumni Association, serving on its Board of Directors from 1990-2000 and as Secretary from 1993-2000. An active member of University Park United Methodist Church, David’s memory was honored with the re-naming of the church’s youth center after him and another church member. He also enthusiastically served for 10 years as a board member and Chair of The Gladney Center, which creates “forever families” through the blessing of adoption.

While it seems unfair that David had less time on this earth than many of his friends and classmates, he spent the time he had well, approaching each day with purpose and humor, civility and kindness. He is dearly missed. We hope you will join in honoring David’s memory as a friend and as a leader of the Class of 1979, the Southwestern Community, the United Methodist Church and the Dallas law community. You may do so by making a gift or pledge to establish the Wm. David Simmons Memorial Scholarship Fund at or you can call 512-863-1482 to speak with the Development Office staff.

David was a person who truly exemplified Southwestern’s core purpose: “fostering a liberal arts community whose values and actions encourage contributions toward the well-being of humanity.” Thanks to the generosity of his classmates and friends, David’s legacy will live on at Southwestern through generations of students who will benefit from this scholarship, established in his name.