The Merle E. Simmons Overseas Study Scholarship was established in 2008 and is awarded by the IU Office of Overseas Study to an eligible student at Indiana University wishing to study in Lima, Peru.
After completing his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1952, Dr. Merle E. Simmons came to Indiana University and in 1962 he became Professor of Spanish and Professor of Folklore. Since his retirement in 1983, he was Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Folklore.
Dr. Simmons held many administrative assignments in addition to teaching at I.U. Some included Director of teaching associates in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 1961-1963; Chairman of the Committee on the I.U. Program for Overseas Study in Peru, 1961-1967; Chairman of the Foreign Study Committee at Indiana University, 1963-1967; Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 1967-1976; Chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Curriculum for Undergraduate majors of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 1973-1974; Chairman of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese 1976-1981; and Chairman of the CIC Committee on Study in Mexico, 1971-1983.
Under Dr. Simmons' direction, IU established new overseas study programs in Hamburg, Strasbourg, Bologna, Madrid, and Mexico City. The IU program in Lima was the first academic year program in Latin American organized by a U.S. institution, established in 1959 with a grant from the U.S. State Department, and Dr. Simmons took charge of its administration in 1961. He administered all of these programs and served as resident director in Mexico (summer programs in 1952, 1958, 1965, 1967, and 1975) and Spain (year-long programs in 1967 and 1970-71).