Dr Roy Thomas Simmons was inspired by a scholarship during his education at RMIT, and following a successful career, decided to leave a bequest to establish a scholarship of his own.
Every year the high calibre and dedication of all the nominees for the Award has been exemplary."
Dr Roy Thomas Simmons commenced his studies at RMIT (then The Working Men's College), in 1920, and thanks to a scholarship, he graduated in 1924 with a Diploma of Applied Chemistry.
During his career, Dr Simmons made outstanding contributions to the fields of biochemistry, bacteriology, microbiology and to the understanding of blood groupings, transfusion safety and genetics. His work was recognised in 1945 with the award of a Fellowship by RMIT (then The Royal Melbourne Technical College) and in 1965 was awarded the rare honour of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) for his contributions to medical science.
The four years spent at The Working Men's College (now RMIT University) between 1920 - 1924 were inspirational to Dr Roy Thomas Simmons.
While delivering the Valedictory Address to graduating students in September 1960, Dr Simmons acknowledged that he owed a considerable debt of gratitude to RMIT, "particularly for those influences and activities which one comes to realise have been the means of moulding one's professional and private life."
Dr Simmons' kind bequest to RMIT in his will in 1975 enabled an annual award to be established in 1982 within the School of Applied Sciences. With generous ongoing philanthropy by Dr Simmons' daughters Margot Bergstrom, Patricia Stuart and Ann Simmons, the award has continued for more than 30 years and is one of the longest standing at RMIT.
Mrs Ann Simmons, youngest daughter of Dr Roy and Iris Simmons, who has been closely involved with the Award as a member of the Selection Committee since its establishment in 1982, said, "Every year the high calibre and dedication of all the nominees for the Award has been exemplary."
"It has been most rewarding also at our 10th and 20th Anniversary functions to learn the outstanding achievements of our Award recipients in their chosen careers and to have them confirm that The Simmons Award had been an inspirational and motivating factor."
The Award is granted to a full-time student who has successfully completed studies in Chemistry equivalent to a second year level in a degree with Chemistry as a major field of study, and has demonstrated the highest standard of academic achievement combined with qualities of leadership and involvement in community affairs.
For the 10th and 20th anniversaries of the award, functions were held which gathered together past recipients.
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