In Memoriam: Otis Davis Simmons, 1924-2015

Otis Simmons, the former dean of the School of Music at Alabama State University, died on January 10 in Montgomery. He was 90 years old.

Dr. Simmons was a native of Kansas City, Kansas. After serving in the U.S. Army, he earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in music philosophy at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Simmons joined the faculty at Alabama State University in 1966 as chair of the department of music. He was named the university’s first dean of the School of Music in 1972.

Dean Simmons retired from Alabama State in 1982 and later served as an adjunct professor of music at Troy University in Alabama.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

  1. Dr Simmons was the greatest teacher I ever had. I can still hear his voice in my mind saying: “There is no such thing as bad music, just ordinary music and extraordinary music.”

    A lot of people don’t know this but he was a fighter pilot in WW2 and a real badass.

    He detested ordinary music as a waste of potential but always respected others right to value it. He taught me to realize that I could either be an ordinary or extraordinary person and I will never forget him.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Johns Hopkins University Launches New Major and Center for Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism

The new Chloe Center for the Critical Study of Racism, Immigration, and Colonialism will provide research opportunities and educational events for the Johns Hopkins University community. As part of the new program, the university has announced a new undergraduate major in critical diaspora studies.

Chicago Library Receives $2 Million to Digitize Collection of African American History and Literature

The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection housed within the Chicago Public Library will soon be available online to the public thanks to a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

Featured Jobs