Laura Brink Pisinski: Securing the Future of a University in the Heart of Boston

Laura Brink Pisinski, VP oof University Real Estate Development and Facilities Management, Simmons University

BOSTON- In 2018, Laura Brink Pisinski became the leader of Simmons University’s ambitious “One Simmons” project: the largest project of its kind in the City of Boston, developed and executed by an organization led by women.

Image: One Simmons project, aerial view

Since 2013, Simmons University has been developing a plan called “One Simmons” to fund the consolidation and revitalization of its real estate on the university’s academic campus, located at 300 Fenway by leasing its residential campus along Brookline Avenue, for 99 years. This plan called for the partial-to-full renovation of all buildings at 300 Fenway, the creation of new science facilities and the development of a new Living and Learning Center on the site of previous old science facilities. “One Simmons” enables the university to offer first-class facilities to the only women-centered academic and residential undergraduate program in Boston, as well as its nationally competitive graduate programs delivered on both on campus and online.

After a successful career in enrollment management and fundraising, Brink Pisinski applied her understanding of all university community stakeholders when thinking about campus space and design. As a result, she was appointed to lead the $450 million “One Simmons” initiative, the largest campus renovation project in Simmons’s history and the first complete master planning effort ever undertaken by the university.

A combined real estate utilization and campus construction project, “One Simmons” effectively touches every space on campus and is primarily focused on the maximization, effectiveness, efficiency and accessibility of the campus physical plant. Managing a team of experts while navigating the often-challenging communications to various stakeholders, is where Brink Pisinski’s expertise are best utilized.  Her careful planning, authentic communication, humor and thoughtful relationship management are hallmarks of her career.

In her more than 17 years at Simmons, Brink Pisinski has held positions of increasing responsibility and scope. She started as a front-line fundraiser, and over 11 years advanced ultimately to the position of Associate Vice President of Advancement. Following a successful career in fundraising, she served as the Chief of Staff to the President of Simmons and was appointed to lead the One Simmons campus plan. She continues to oversee that $450 million initiative, the biggest real estate and master planning project in Simmons’ history. She serves as Vice President of University Real Estate Development and Facilities Management, and her teams are responsible for facilities and auxiliary services, conferences, events and public safety.

Spending her entire career in higher education, Brink Pisinski has a keen understanding of the ever-changing demands on university campuses, and the need to maximize space efficiency, design, and accessibility in order to engage student populations from diverse backgrounds. Throughout her time at Simmons, she has experienced the increasing pressures of changing demographics, competition and the expectation for innovative and engaging campus spaces among university communities. She holds a B.A. from St. Lawrence University and an M.S. from Simmons University. When she is not engaged in the management of the One Simmons project, or leading the University’s COVID-19 task force, she is either gardening, walking her dog Axel with her husband Jim, or coaching CrossFit.

Photo: One Simmons project, SAC Lounge interior

As the only all women’s undergraduate university in Boston, Simmons is a leader in mission-driven education for a diverse student population. For almost a decade, Simmons has been working diligently to envision the university for the future, through extensive planning and discussion. “One Simmons” is the result of this work: a three-phased strategic construction project that combines Simmons’s two campuses, to enhance the student experience through the updating of the academic campus, the modernization of the library and science facilities, and the construction of a new 400,000-square-foot Living and Learning Center on the main campus.

The project is led by Laura Brink Pisinski, and is supported by key team members at Newmark Knight Frank, Redgate Real Estate Advisors, Skanska, DLA Piper, and Elkus Manfredi Architects. All of whom understand the value and importance of a project that will help to secure the future of a university in the heart of Boston.