A planned gift from an alumnus will add $3.8 million to ISU’s student activity fund.
Michael Simmons, class of ‘64, died Feb. 7 in Florida at the age of 77. His gift to the Michael Simmons Student Activity Endowment will “continue to inspire Simmons’ love of teamwork — and the lifelong skills it instills — and will touch countless Sycamores for generations to come,” according to a news release from the university.
Indiana State University President Dan Bradley recalled Simmons, his friend, as being creative, competitive and generous.
Simmons, for instance, co-founded the Sycamore Tricycle Derby in October 1963 as a way to keep students on campus during the weekend.
The “Trike” race was nurtured by students and staff in the 1970s and ‘80s before growing into the homecoming tradition it is today. It also spurred the idea for a tandem bicycle race each spring — both of which are now headquartered in the Michael Simmons Activity Center.
Simmons was about impact, not praise, Bradley said.
“Although he humbly accepted the honors that came his way, his actions were never about drawing attention to himself,” said Bradley. “They were always about the effect they would have on shaping or transforming our students.”
Simmons’ contributions will be honored at this year’s Tandem Race with a moment of silence and memorial parade lap at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.
The Michael Simmons Student Activity Endowment was established in 2013 to increase student participation in extracurricular, team-based programs that foster the development of leadership and teamwork skills. The funds are distributed through an application process.
“He was a personal friend who I admired greatly and aspire to be more like,” Bradley said. “We will miss Michael, greatly but his spirit will continue to resound through our campus.”