Spring Hill College campus ministry center to be named in honor of Rev. Robert B. Rimes, S.J.
MOBILE, Ala. – The Rev. Bobby Rimes, S.J., has provided spiritual direction and guidance to generations of Spring Hill College students.
Thanks to a generous gift from SHC alumnus and trustee Thomas A. Byrne ’82, the campus ministry center will be named The Rev. Bobby Rimes, S.J. Center for Campus Ministry, honoring the former professor of theology and longtime spiritual director.
“Father Bobby Rimes embodies the values and ideals of a Jesuit education. He introduced me to St. Ignatius, and I am excited that we are recognizing him in a permanent way,” Byrne said. “Remembering how important he was to me and to countless students like me over the years, the opportunity to name the campus ministry center for him seemed a perfect fit. He is a walking embodiment of the Jesuit tradition of spirituality and education.”
“Bobby Rimes has inspired and helped so many over the years and continues to do so,” said Rev. Richard P. Salmi, S.J., Spring Hill’s president. “We are grateful that Tom chose to honor and recognize Bobby in this way.”
Rimes came to Spring Hill as an undergraduate in 1939. Although baseball was his most successful sport, he is also proud to have served on Spring Hill’s football team. He jokingly brags that Spring Hill football has been undefeated since 1942 when he played on the team. (SHC dropped football after that year.)
Rimes entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1942. He studied philosophy at Spring Hill and theology at St. Mary’s College in Kansas and was ordained a priest at Spring Hill’s St. Joseph Chapel in 1955. From 1957 until 1965 Rimes served as assistant master of novices at Grand Coteau, La., and then as master of novices from 1965 until 1975. He returned to Spring Hill in 1977 and served as rector of the Jesuit community and director of Jesuit tertians. As a professor of theology, Rimes taught courses in Jesuit spirituality and the New Testament. Rimes is retired but still active as a spiritual director and mentor. He resides in the Jesuit community at the college.
Byrne was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2001 after serving ex-officio as the National Alumni Association Board president. A Certified Public Accountant, he is president and sole shareholder of an accounting and consulting firm with offices in Houston and Aberdeen, Texas, and Ridgeland, Miss. He graduated from Spring Hill in 1982 with a B.S. in accounting, a minor in business administration, and additional concentrated studies in English, philosophy and theology. He serves as founder and director of Professional Advisory Council, North Mississippi Council on Planned Giving, CDF Charities, Inc., and Habitat for Humanity of Houston, Inc.
Spring Hill’s campus ministry, with offices in the college’s student center, fosters a culture of Christian faith by promoting the spiritual life of all students, faculty and staff and the affirmation of religious belief and practice including prayer, worship services, faith and justice formation, reflection and discernment, various social justice endeavors, and meaningful community service to the Mobile community and beyond.