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Simmonds '08 Scholarship Fund Supports Lasell Undergrads

Fund established to honor Dennis Simmonds '08

Nicole, Roxanne, DJ and Dennis R. Simmonds at Lasell's Commencement in 2008

The Dennis "DJ" Simmonds '08 Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2015 to honor the memory of the late Lasell alum, a beloved, award-winning member of the Boston Police Department who died suddenly one year after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and is considered the fifth victim of the tragedy. All proceeds from the Fund support scholarships for current Lasell students.

Last year, four Lasell undergraduate Criminal Justice majors received $2,500 scholarships toward their studies through the Dennis "DJ" Simmonds '08 Memorial Scholarship Fund. Friends and family involved with the effort hope to repeat the gesture in this, the Fund's second year, when five Boston Marathon runners will compete in Simmonds' name.

A six-year veteran of the Boston Police Department assigned to the Youth Violence Task Force, Simmonds was injured in the 2013 Watertown, MA shootout and died as a result of those injuries.

Simmonds received a national Top Cops Award in 2014 and a Boston Police Department Schroeder Brothers Memorial Medal for Bravery, as well as many commendations for his work engaging Boston's youth. Commenting on Simmonds' celebrated career, his uncle, Larry Grant, says, "Dennis truly had a passion for his work."

More recently, in September, 2015, Simmonds was honored when his name was added to the Boston Police Department memorial wall that lists officers who've died in the line of duty. At that ceremony, Patrick Rose, president of the Boston Patrolmen's Association, called Simmonds "the best of what we represent and a role model for young officers. Dennis was, and always will be, a good guy."

A casino night benefit, "Double Down for DJ," was held in Boston in March to help fundraise for the scholarship.

"It's about keeping his memory alive," Simmonds's sister Nicole Simmonds says. "In Dennis's memory, the Fund can continue his vision and commitment to the Boston community."

For information, or to donate, go to www.lasellalumni.org/simmonds.

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