The Wilkes University community gathered in the newly named Ron & Rhea Simms Center on Main on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
The building, previously known as the University Center on Main, was dedicated in recognition of Ron and Rhea Simms, members of the classes of 1960 and 1978 respectively, in honor of their decades-long commitment and generous support of Wilkes University.
Ron and Rhea Simms were accompanied by family members for the brief ceremony, which included speeches by Wilkes Chief Advancement Officer Margaret Steele, President Greg Cant, with remarks also by Ron Simms.
“There is no better space on this campus to honor the Simms than this building,” said President Cant. “It is the intersection of campus and the Wilkes-Barre community, and one of the most popular parts of the Wilkes University campus.” He added that the building also houses the Sidhu School of Business, the Air Force ROTC Detachment 752, the McHale Athletic Center, where many University events are held, and also the popular Starbucks, a meeting place for faculty, students and residents of the city. “We can find no finer role models of what it means to be a leader, to work hard, and to commit to the community than Ron and Rhea Simms,” President Cant concluded.
Ron and Rhea Simms first met on the Wilkes University campus, then married and had three daughters: Emma, Margaret and Virginia. Ron Simms founded Mountain Productions over 40 years ago, the largest staging and event company in North America, and Rhea Simms is the owner and board chair of Lewith & Freeman Real Estate, the largest independently owned real estate firm in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
View the photo gallery of the dedication ceremony: