Simmons University Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities

“The new wing of Ifill College is a powerful example of using space to not only support student learning but also tell the story of liberal education in the 21st century.  A museum-quality exhibit tells the story of Gwen Ifill as a model of the kind of purposeful life we hope for all of our students:  professional excellence, civic engagement, intellectual curiosity, and commitment to the next generation.  As Simmons students and members of the public walk down the hallway, they can imagine possibilities for themselves and the kind of good work they want to do in the world.”

- Brian Norman, Dean, Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities

Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities

Simmons University

Boston, Massachusetts

12,000 gsf renovation

$4.6 million


The newly created Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities, named for one of Simmons University’s most prominent alumnae, affords students the opportunity to study various modes of expression through which the human experience is recorded and interpreted:  language, narrative, art, music, film, and contemporary media.


Ellenzweig designed the renovated space in the East Wing of the Main Campus Building that serves as the home for the new College.  Teaching and support facilities include a graphic design studio, computer classroom, computer active learning lab, an updated auditorium providing contemporary technology, and student lounge; facilities for faculty and administration of the Gwen Ifill College as well as the Department of Communication include offices, a state-of-the-art boardroom, and dean’s suite.


The renovation work included new lighting and audio-visual systems, new furnishings, installation of sprinkler/fire protection system, and upgrades to provide universal access.


Ellenzweig collaborated with Trivium Interactive in designing the display area that celebrates Gwen Ifill’s career.  Included in the display are statements from her writings, artifacts from her life, and memorabilia, as well as interactive features that encourage students and visitors to engage with the display and share their interaction on various social media platforms.  .  This area also provides the space and technology for digital display and pin-up of student work and on-going art projects.