Auxiliary gym will be renamed

Cecilia M. Mimms ’77 will be recognized


This plaque outside the auxiliary gym will soon receive an update.

Caitie O'Connor, Reporter

The auxiliary gym has undergone many changes to its facade over the years. Old wooden basketball hoops are still in place on walls, and the windows are still tall and blurred out as they always have been from when the facility was first used. 

But new floors, painted walls, brighter lights and nicer bleachers have transformed it into a respectable facility for teams and students to come together for various reasons, with the gym often serving as the site as freshman basketball games and other events. 

However, the biggest change so far has yet to take place. 

On Feb. 8, the auxiliary gym will have a name change. Ms. Cecilia M. Mimms ‘77, a life skills teacher at Northwest Middle School in the Indianapolis Public School system, will honored with a banquet and ceremony, which will celebrate her achievements and time here. 

This is a momentous occasion for the school, as Mrs. Jean E. Smith ’97, the executive assistant in the advancement office, said, “Cecilia is the first African American to have a room (or) space named after them here at Cathedral.” 

Mimms spoke highly of her time at the school, and how it impacted her decision to become a teacher and coach full time. She said, “I think that the foundation I was laid through Cathedral allowed me to make the decision to want to help others. “Cathedral has core values which I try to live and stress every day. I think as a teacher you need to have core values.”

The plaque that will be displayed in Mimms’ honor reads that she was “an amazing basketball player and far ahead of her time.” 

Mimms’ team won more than 70 consecutive games over three years and at one point was ranked Number 1 in the state, and this ranking occurred at the time when high school teams were not divided into classes based on student enrollment. 

She has since been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. 

The idea to name the auxiliary gym came about because of Mimms’ classmate and former teammate, Ms. Kathleen Welsh ‘78, who wanted to do something to recognize Mimms on campus and she ultimately chose the dedication of the auxiliary gym. 

Mrs. Nicole Beasley ‘98, vice president for advancement, facilitated the conversation between a donor. 

Mimms said, “The fact that somebody else remembers someone they haven’t seen since high school and the influence they had on the athletic culture is super cool.” 

She said that Mimms and Welsh reconnected as a result of Welsh’s idea but that they had not stayed in touch. Mimms said, “She was a part of the Cathedral journey that we went on.” 

Beasley has had the opportunity to meet Mimms during this process. She said, “Cecilia is so humble and so honored that the Cathedral community is recognizing her.” 

Mimms, whose mother died in December, said that her mother was an important part of her success and a wise woman. “My message to you guys is to listen to your parents,” she said. 

Her mother encouraged her and kept her on the right track. Mimms said, “When kids were hanging out at parties and things I was hanging out on the (basketball) court.” 

She said, “I was constantly competing with my brother. It was always a competition and I always had to win.” 

She did not start playing team basketball until her freshman year of high school. Up until that point, it had always been pick up games with her brother in the neighborhood. 

“Who would have thought,” she said, “That somebody would name a gym after me?”

Mimms provided a final comment that she said she very much wanted to convey: She said,“I am so humbled and appreciative. I accept this honor with great gratitude.”