By Timothy A. Norton
Nancy Simms, having extended the legacy of her family, more particularly her parents, W. Frank and Evelyn ’24 Gordy, was feted on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at a dedication ceremony for the new Simms Garden at Gordy Dining Center on the campus of Reinhardt University in Waleska.
Simms Garden, named for Nancy and Steve Simms, includes an outdoor seating/dining area adjacent to the student dining room and in clear view of the Evelyn J. Gordy Hospitality House. The Gordy Hospitality House was the family’s home on Piedmont Road in Atlanta until Mrs. Gordy had it moved to the Reinhardt campus in 1990.
Tuesday’s ceremony followed the fall meeting of the Reinhardt Board of Trustees’ meeting and celebrated the completion of $24 million in construction projects, including the newly renovated and expanded Gordy Dining Center, a 184-bed Eagles View Residence Hall and the Reinhardt University Theater.
“Nancy’s vision was to create a beautiful garden for students to enjoy community,” said President Kina S. Mallard. “She wanted the garden to reflect her love and her mother’s love of flowers, color and community, and she wanted it to honor God.”
Simms’ mother, Evelyn, was an alumna of Reinhardt Academy Class of 1924, the institution that preceded today’s Reinhardt University. Together with her husband, Frank, the Gordy’s founded The Varsity, an Atlanta icon in the restaurant business, four years after Mrs. Gordy graduated from Reinhardt. Evelyn Gordy served Reinhardt as a member of the Board of Trustees for many years.
Simms told those in attendance that she wished her father and mother, Frank and Evelyn Gordy, were there but knew they were in Heaven looking down and proud of how Reinhardt University is growing.
Speaking of the Gordy family’s commitment and continuing dedication to Reinhardt, Board of Trustees’ Chair, C. Kenneth White ’61, said, “The Gordy family has been very generous to Reinhardt over many years – including decades as leaders of our Board and with more than $9 million donated to the University. Today, we join together to honor the legacy of the Gordy family, to show our grateful appreciation to Nancy and Steve – and their family – and to dedicate this beautiful new outdoor space that bears their name, Simms Garden.”