iOS app Android app

Helen Drinan
Helen Drinan is the president of Simmons College –- a nationally recognized small, liberal arts university that offers an undergraduate all-women’s education and renowned coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, library and information science, social work, as well as an MBA program designed for women. Prior to becoming president of Simmons in 2008, Drinan was a highly respected leader in business, healthcare and civic circles. She is a strong advocate for women’s education and women’s leadership issues. An alumna of two Simmons graduate school programs, the School of Management and the Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Drinan has an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College. Drinan is married to David H. Drinan; they have three grown children and six grandchildren.

Entries by Helen Drinan

Amid Sweet Briar Battle, Women's Colleges Remain Important and Relevant

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 1:07 PM

When I first heard the news that Sweet Briar College would close, I thought it was a mistake. How could this be true? Shuttering this respected, 114-year-old women's liberal arts institution seemed implausible.

But as the days passed, the circumstances of the decision became better known: a board...

Read Post

Why Transgender Students Belong at Women's Colleges

(5) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 8:47 PM

Sometimes the fear of consequences appears so great that we hold on to tradition much longer than we need to. That was surely the case more than 100 years ago when the revolutionary idea of higher education for women was introduced. We are at another such groundbreaking moment now as...

Read Post

Mo'ne Davis -- Four Success Tips For Girls From a Young Baseball Ace

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 10:41 AM

What can I say about Mo'ne Davis, but wow! This 13-year-old girl has the entire country talking, as her pitching skills have helped to lead her Philadelphia Little League team to the Little League World Series. This month, she led her team to a 4-0 victory over Nashville...

Read Post

Amid the World's Violence, Hope for Women and Girls

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 6:50 PM

Their stories still rivet me: Wai Wai Nu, who spent seven of her 27 years as a political prisoner and now fights for the rights of marginalized women in Myanmar; Achol Williams Amoi, a mother of seven girls and the first woman speaker of the State Legislative Assembly in South...

Read Post

A Letter to My Granddaughter: Bossy Can Be Beautiful

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 6:25 PM

Dear Grace,

I know life is awfully hectic for a busy middle school girl like you. One day soon, you will be graduating from high school, and then college. Then off to pursue a career, travel, perhaps a family, who knows? You are young, and your whole life is...

Read Post

4 New Year's Tips For College Students In 2014

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 5:06 PM

The first college semester of the year has begun, and our campus is buzzing with activity as students settle into their routines after a long and cold winter break. In the spirit of new beginnings during this traditional time of reflection, I'd like to offer four tips for college students...

Read Post

Women's Advancement -- Male Allies Please

(8) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 10:07 AM

When Twitter begins trading publicly this month, it will do so with a board composed entirely of white men. Thirty or 40 years ago, this may not have been strange; I daresay that few would have questioned this decision at all. But today, with women's substantial use of social media,...

Read Post

Back to School List: 5 Reasons to Consider a Women's College

(13) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 11:25 AM

It's August and most schools are back in session, or set to begin soon. For parents of high school students -- particularly juniors and seniors -- back to school may include the additional challenge of a college search.

For parents of female high school students, one important option is a...

Read Post

Super Bowl Demonstrates Need for Culture Change

(25) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 12:02 PM

Another Super Bowl, another evening of commercials and on-air content presenting women in an overly sexualized and ultimately demeaning manner.

This year's commercials ranged from a close-up shot of an extended kiss between a nerd and a supermodel to a modern riff on the classic 'lady washing a soapy...

Read Post

A Gift for the Holidays: 5 Tips for Dads to Help their Daughters Succeed in Life

(12) Comments | Posted December 14, 2012 | 1:01 PM

As president of a women's college, I frequently travel across the country and speak with parents. Increasingly, I have been talking to fathers who want to know more about what they can do to influence their daughters' successful futures. At a recent conference, the father of a young girl approached...

Read Post

Women Must Stand Up for Themselves in the Workplace

(4) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 3:14 PM

By this time each fall, our campus is in full swing with students and faculty rushing to and from classes, meetings, and all the various activities. I can't help but think back to my own years at Mt. Holyoke College, before I started my career in business and -- much...

Read Post