Lawrence J. Simpson (A&S ’74G, ’78G) was honored at the 45th annual Jazz Seminar with a Kenneth P. Dietrich Distinguished Professional Achievement Award. Simpson is Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Berklee's current faculty and former alums have garnered more than 253 Grammy and 75 Latin Grammy awards. Berklee has more than 630 faculty.
In his role at the college, Simpson is the chief academic officer responsible for Berklee’s academic divisions (Professional Performance, Professional Writing and Music Technology and Professional Education); Institutional Assessment, Graduate Studies, Concert Operations, Summer Programs, Curriculum Development, Experiential Learning (Internships), Faculty Development and the Library and Learning Resources. He also serves as the Executive Producer of the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, which draws about 60,000 people to Boston’s South End on the last Saturday of September each year.
Simpson currently serves as Board Chair for the New England Foundation for the Arts, one of six regional arts organizations supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. He also sits on the board of JazzBoston.
Previously he served for three years as Board Chair of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (based in Washington, DC) as well as the Board Chair of the Cleveland Partnership for Arts and Culture (Cleveland Ohio). Other selected board service has included the Musical Arts Association (The Cleveland Orchestra), Dance Theater Workshop, the National Black Arts Festival (Atlanta, GA) and Arts Midwest. His work with these organizations has frequently been recognized.
Simpson has served on panels for a broad variety of organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, Arts Midwest, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Arts International and Michigan’s Council for the Arts, among others.
Prior to coming to Berklee, Simpson served as President of the Eastern Campus of Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland for 12 years and served for one year as President of its Metropolitan Campus.
Simpson earned his BA degree from Kent State University and MS and PhD degrees in social psychology from the Dietrich School.