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News & Events

News & Event

Proud of His Hometown

“Rather than have a big tombstone and all, I thought it would be better to have a scholarship fund” said Colonel Cecil Himes of Rocky Ridge, Alabama.

“Rather than have a big tombstone and all, I thought it would be better to have a scholarship fund” said Colonel Cecil Himes of Rocky Ridge, Alabama. It was a good fit for him to know his insurance benefits would be paid out to The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to establish to Fred C. and Jennie Himes Memorial Scholarship Fund.

“Batavia High School was very good to me and allowed me to go on to college and establish a career,' Col. Himes said. 

He was so grateful for the opportunities he had through his education that he felt compelled to return the favor. He truly felt honored that he was able to help provide opportunities to Batavia graduates through a 4-year, $1,500 scholarship. As class president for three years and member of the Drama Club his scholarship awarded assistance to students who not only excelled academically but were active in various school activities.

Col. Himes was not only grateful to give back to the school that meant so much to him, he was also proud to give back to a community he never forgot although he moved away and travelled a great deal with the military. “After graduating from West Point and starting his military travel he still considered Batavia his home. He called it Cincinnati’s largest suburb,” commented Mrs. Himes

Not only has his fund provided opportunities to graduating students, it has also allowed him to honor the memory of his parents, Fred C. and Jennie Himes. “After the death of his mother (his father had died earlier) he wanted to do something in their honor and what better way than to establish a scholarship in their honor.”

Through Col. Himes’ generosity, the number of lives he has changed is profound. The students who have received scholarships always kept in touch through receptions and letters. Cincinnati is such a close community Mary Pitcairn, GCF’s Giving Strategies Officer, ran into a recipient on her bus route. A recent college graduate and employee at Fifth Third Bank, this recipient recalled how life-changing the grant was. Without his scholarship, a college degree would not have been a reality. Mrs. Himes explains, “Col. Himes has been so proud of every one of the recipients.”

He enjoyed a prestigious military career of 30 years. After his retirement he returned to school to continue his education, receiving his MBA from Samford University in Birmingham. During his retirement he enjoyed dancing, traveling, fishing and golfing. He also enjoyed gardening and his neighbors enjoyed his tomatoes.

Sadly Col. Himes passed away in 2009. His humble, generous spirit will be missed but his legacy and affect on young Batavia High School graduates will continue forever.

Find out more about giving through GCF.

May 2010



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