Matthew R. Simmons
Matthew R. Simmons
The board of directors of the Camden Conference has announced that it will dedicate the upcoming conference, "The Challenges of Asia" (February 18 through 20), to honor the memory of Matthew R. Simmons. Simmons was the keynote speaker for the 15th Camden Conference in 2002, "The Politics of Energy and Water." His talk was titled "Nightmares and Dreams about World Energy Crises." He was a long-standing member of the Camden Conference Advisory Council and had always been a generous benefactor in support of the mission of the organization.

Simmons founded Simmons & Company International, a Houston-based energy investment bank, in 1974. It eventually expanded to London, Aberdeen and Dubai. More recently, he founded the Maine-based Ocean Energy Institute, a nonprofit research organization, to promote clean, sustainable energy production from offshore wind and ocean forces. His vision and backing enabled the restoration of the Strand Theatre in Rockland.

Simmons was a creative, humor-filled extrovert with great integrity. He greatly valued education, and, in that vein, the Camden Conference has established an annual scholarship for a student to attend the conference in his honor. The recipient of the 2011 Matthew R. Simmons Scholarship is Mary P. Lynch, a public policy major at the University College at Rockland.

The Camden Conference is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization whose mission is to foster informed discourse on world affairs through year-round community events, public and student engagement, and an annual weekend conference featuring distinguished speakers on a central theme related to U.S. foreign affairs. For more information, visit www.camdenconference.org or call 236-1034.