The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Simpsons: History of a Family’s Contribution

The+Simpsons%3A+History+of+a+Familys+Contribution

Tessa Bowman and Caeley Sacher

Over the past 95 years, the Alexandria-native Simpson family has made innumerable construction contributions to the Northern Virginia and Alexandria area. With their aptitude for quiet, philanthropic benefactions to enhance the community, namely the school system, their contributions have gone relatively unrecognized.

In 1924, brothers Eugene and Clarence Simpson founded Simpson Masonry, a simple masonry company in Northern Virginia. Since, the Simpson Company has grown into a full size contracting firm and has accomplished numerous major construction projects.

Notable projects include the construction of the Quantico Marine Base, INOVA Alexandria Hospital, Alexandria City Hall, and the Simpson Baseball Field. They reconstructed the Torpedo Factory from a factory into an art center, and in the seventies they redeveloped the majority of Old Town from an industrial to commercial area–creating the waterfront known today. They have additionally built the Tysons Sheraton Hotel and the Mark Plaza Hotel. Most recently, they have constructed the Lexus of Alexandria and Lindsay Chevrolet car dealerships.

Donald “Don” Simpson Jr. is a third generation family member of the Simpson company. As the President of the Simpson Development Company, Simpson oversees the company’s real estate development and new construction projects. In addition to his family’s company, Simpson Jr. is heavily involved in the wellbeing of Alexandria City and its citizens.  

Don Simpson Jr, like his father and grandfather, grew up in Alexandria. As a child, he was a part of Alexandria’s little league team and played baseball on Simpson Field, which his grandfather built. “It’s just always been meaningful to make sure that that field is in the best condition, for little league and for T.C.,” said Simpson Jr.   

Simpson Jr. is a T.C. Williams alumnus and played football during his time at T.C. Because of his sports background, he is heavily involved in T.C.’s sports department, working with the football program at T.C. for roughly 7 years as a defensive back coach under head coach Riki Ellison. “A lot of focus has been on helping out my alma mater T.C. Williams and helping out with a lot of their facilities having to do with sports,” Simpson Jr. said.

As one of the original founders of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA), the Simpson family has reduced college financial restrictions for T.C. Williams students since 1984 by helping to supply students with scholarships. “We always help support the programs financially,” said Simpson Jr., “We’ve been on the foundation board and contributing since day one.” Simpson Sr. currently continues to serve on the Board of Directors as a member of the Leadership Advisory Council.

The Simpson company has been especially significant in improving Alexandria City school systems. Providing contributions to student’s sports including installing the girls softball team’s batting cages at Witter Fields, the scoreboard at Eugene Simpson Field, adding the locker rooms at Hammond Middle School, and the scoreboard, goal posts and press box at T.C.’s Parker Gray Stadium. “With our construction company I’ve been able to do a lot to give back to the school,” he said.

Although he supports a movement that would improve T.C. facilities and Titan school spirit, it is unlikely for Simpson Development Inc. to head any possible project concerning the installation of lights as it would be at such a large magnitude.

Simpson Jr. owes much of his dedication to the Simpson organization and his investment in Alexandria to his company predecessors; father Donald Simpson Sr. and grandfather Eugene Simpson. His grandfather was heavily involved with the area his company served, which placed emphasis on the continuation of that community-oriented mindset. “[From my father I learned] its about giving back,” Simpson Jr. said, “We live and work here, [so it is] important for our firm to be embedded in the community. It’s natural for us to assist.”

Simpson Jr is also chairman of many reputable organizations, including The Center of Alexandria Children, an organization centered around aiding the abused youth of Alexandria. This organization merges the police, school system and the mental health aspects needed in handling child abuse cases. Through this, the entire task force comes together to interview the abused student, making the process of handling such cases simpler and less taxing for the child. This organization creates a safe environment for students to speak up against abuse.

The Simpson family and company not only built the INOVA Alexandria Hospital, but also helped with the hospital’s efforts to spread breast cancer awareness. As chairman of INOVA, Simpson Jr. also worked with the hospital for the INOVA Blood Drive.

As one of the original founders of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA), the Simpson family has reduced college financial restrictions for T.C. Williams students since 1984 by helping to supply students with scholarships. “We always help support the programs financially,” said Simpson Jr., “We’ve been on the foundation board and contributing since day one.” Simpson Sr. currently continues to serve on the Board of Directors as a member of the Leadership Advisory Council.

The Simpson family established itself as an important part of Alexandria through its construction company and charitable projects. For 95 years, the Simpsons have made their impact in T.C. Williams, Alexandria City, and Northern Virginia through their community-oriented mindset. They have contributed to building an environment that makes Alexandria the city and community it is today.

“The fact that the City of Alexandria is a relatively small town and our family has been very fortunate… to be able to establish longstanding relationships with many families and companies,” Simpson Jr. said about the importance of personal relationships to the company’s success, “that enabled us to partner and work with many folks both in business and community activities.”

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The Simpsons: History of a Family’s Contribution