Simmons family invests in students to improve community health

Preston and Jill Simmons

Graced with savings from part-time jobs and families who could afford to help them with college expenses, Preston and Jill Simmons built successful careers and a life with their two sons. Their involvement with UW Bothell introduced them to countless other determined young people who weren’t as fortunate.

“There are so many kids who are fighting with everything they’ve got to change their lives and help their families. They want to go to college, but they just can’t afford it,” says Jill, who works with special needs children in the Northshore School District. “These kids will go on to give back to their own communities when they are given the opportunity for an education.”

In 2015, the couple established the Preston and Jill Simmons Endowed Fund for Undergraduate Student Support to provide scholarships to students who lack the resources to pay for a UW Bothell degree. They hope their own college-age boys, PJ and Connor, and future family members will buoy the fund through the years.


Preston is the CEO of Providence Health & Services for the Northwest Region, headquartered at the system’s medical center in Everett. He quickly became impressed with UW Bothell’s unique and excellent interdisciplinary approach to education through Providence’s multiple partnerships and collaborations with the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

“Education is a key social determinate of community health,” says Preston, who serves as a member of the UW Bothell Advisory Council. “When our youth can get a good education, it improves their future health and the health of their communities.”

As supporters of education and as self-professed die-hard Husky fans, the couple says it made sense to support scholarships. Preston rowed crew with the Huskies, has dual degrees from the UW including a Master’s in Health Administration, and serves as a clinical professor in the UW School of Public Health.

For the Simmons family, a UW Bothell education is one of the most meaningful investments anyone can make. “UW Bothell graduates will have a tremendous impact on our future workforce,” the CEO says.