Dr. Donna Simmons has served the USC retiree community since her retirement as a Neuroscience research associate in 2009. She is open and welcoming to everyone: staff, faculty, retirees, students, and the community. Widely liked and respected, Donna is a natural USC Ambassador. In 2013, she was one of the founding members of Trojans Helping Trojans, a division of Trojan ENCORE that engages retired faculty and staff to help others. As Staff Retirement Association Board (SRA) hospitality chair, Donna has played an integral part ensuring the success of numerous events and programs. The December annual holiday celebration/Emeriti Center 40th Anniversary luncheon was a huge success due to Donna’s leadership, management, and detailed organization. She spent months calling, emailing, and consolidating details with dedication and care. What made her contributions even more noteworthy: she was recovering from back surgery so orchestrated the 40th Anniversary luncheon remotely. This is just one example of her dedication and commitment. Since there are four major SRA programs every year, Donna is often engaged in the arranging for multiple programs at once.
Donna serves on Emeriti Center committees, contributes to the USC Retiree Community Newsletter, and continues to offer her expertise to help wherever needed. She is so dedicated to helping that she taught herself how to use special software to ensure that events run smoothly. She knows more about how the Emeriti Center runs than any other retiree, and in her dual role as both staff and faculty, she deeply understands the entire retiree community and frequently serves as a mentor/advisor/friend to many.