Barry Simms (“Dep”) was born on January 24, 1941 and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Lincoln Academy in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, for his middle school years, returned to Baltimore for high school, and attended Baltimore City College in 1959. Simms went to Morgan State College on a Senatorial Scholarship and also financed his collegiate career with a basketball scholarship and work-study.
In 1964, Simms graduated from Morgan State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. After graduation, he taught in the Baltimore city schools for three and a half years. He then went to work for the Eastman Kodak Company as a technical sales representative in what became the Printing and Publishing Division, retiring after 38 years in 1996. During his time at Kodak, he still found time to teach, serving as a continuing guest lecturer at the University of Kansas and at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He also taught technical courses at the University of the District of Columbia.
In 1967, Simms married Joyce Brenda Tucker. The couple has two children, Keith and Kelli. Ever the athlete, Simms enjoys playing tennis.
A continuing interest in education has led Simms to assist families with college planning and teachers with their retirement planning and their continuing education. Community service is important to him as well. In addition to mentoring young males in his community, he served as a Big Brother to twins in the Kansas City Big Brother/Big Sister organization. Simms has also served the following organizations: the Morgan State Alumni Association, the Upton School Foundation, the Columbia Basketball Association, the Howard University Mentor Program, Prince George’s County Human Relations Board, Baltimore Juvenile Justice, the Howard County Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center, and the Black Student Achievement Program
Simms’ fondest Groove memories are when the founders first marched into the refractory as a group and when they successfully supported an independent candidate running for president of student government. He says that he is proud and humbled by the growth of Groove and the loyalty of its members. His hope is that the organization continues to grow and develop leadership among its members and the greater community which it serves.