12th National President
Link Barbara Jean Dixon Simpkins was born and educated in the public schools of Pensacola, FL. As a young girl, she accompanied her mother, who was pursuing a master’s degree at Cornell University (NY), to Ithaca and attended the Cascadilla College Preparatory School at Cornell. She graduated from Washington High School in Pensacola and enrolled at Fisk University at age 15. Barbara received a bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M; a master’s degree from Temple University; and a Ed. D. from Nova Southeastern University in educational leadership as an accelerated student.
Link Barbara Simpkins held many responsible positions. She began her career as a music teacher and vocal music educator in Pensacola, at Washington High, where she was “Teacher of the Year” – she wrote the school song and the “pep” song. She authored many projects and initiatives and was the recipient of the U.S. Secretary of Education Exemplary Initiative Award.
Her contributions to The Links, Incorporated was most outstanding. She was the organizer and the first president of the Prince George County (MD) Chapter in 1979; she was the Eastern Area secretary in l987, and served as the Eastern Area director in 1991-1995. She was appointed National Vice President in 1995. In her service as the national membership chair, chapter establishment chair, she co-authored The Links’ signature program, “Links to Success: Children Achieving Excellence.” As Area Director, Link Barbara went with a delegation to South Africa to break ground for the Links/IFESH Schools built by The Links, Incorporated. She returned to South Africa as the national president to solidity the construction of the schools and sponsored the South African Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
In 1999, Dr. Simpkins was selected by Ebony Magazine as one of the country’s most influential Black Americans.
Link Barbara Simpkins was a grandmother and proud mother of two sons – Monti Lemans Simpkins and Lubara Dixon Simpkins. She was a writer, gourmet cook, and gardener. She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Phi Delta Kappa Education Fraternity, the Potomac Chapter of Girl Friends, Inc. and a member of Ft. Washington Baptist Church. She enjoyed traveling and entertaining friends.
Link Simpkins died December 10, 2009 at her home in Fort Washington, Maryland.