“When you’re a public servant you don’t make a whole lot of money, so you have to think about how to give in other ways,” said Simeone. “Everybody who acquires assets, like a home or a retirement fund, has to make a decision about what will happen to those assets. While I contribute over time to PC, this is my way to really give back.”
Simeone, a political science major, earned a master’s degree in public administration from Southern Illinois University before going to Washington. While writing her thesis on the ideals of public service for a doctorate from Virginia Tech in 2004, “I really started to understand the connection between all that I had been doing in my work and the intellectual grounding I received at PC,” she said.
“Because PC is run by the Dominicans, it has a strong intellectual grounding as well as a strong Catholic grounding,” Simeone said. “Intellectual freedom is part of that—you’re not told to think or believe a certain way.”
She hopes her gift “will help to keep the spirit of the College’s founding intact.”
“Nobody, over the course of my career, ever doubted that I was a critical thinker—though some might have wished I didn’t learn that lesson quite so well,” Simeone joked. “That all came from PC, more than anywhere else in my life.”