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Trine mourns passing of alumnus, supporter Dr. James Ross Rinker

Trine University is mourning the loss of 1958 alumnus Dr. James Ross Rinker, who died the evening of Saturday, April 25, at age 85.

“Dr. Rinker epitomizes the success enjoyed by many Trine University alumni as a result of their determination and the educational foundation they receive, as well as the generosity many demonstrate once they achieve that success,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine University president. “Through the Rinker-Ross Memorial Foundation, Dr. Rinker provided critical support for medical and performing arts programs in New York and key backing for health sciences programs at his alma mater. He will be greatly missed.”

Dr. Rinker was born and raised in Kentucky, graduating from Tri-State College with a degree in business administration in 1958. Following Commencement, he took a commission with the U.S. Army.

While in the service, Dr. Rinker continued his education and earned his doctorate in psychology in 1966. He proudly served as a clinical psychologist for servicemen at assignments in multiple hospitals before finishing his career at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.

After his retirement as a major in 1985, Dr. Rinker returned to his family’s roots in Lexington, Kentucky, where he was actively involved in the family’s business of real estate and thoroughbred horses. He also maintained a practice as a psychologist.

He moved to Binghamton, New York, in the mid-1990s, where he had a psychology practice at local hospitals. He also served on the board of directors at Lourdes Hospital.

Dr. Rinker established the Rinker-Ross Memorial Foundation, where he served as CEO, and was instrumental in providing capital funding for medicine and the performing arts in the Binghamton area. He generously supported Trine University through the foundation, particularly in areas related to the health sciences, biomedical engineering and performing arts.

Trine University named the Rinker-Ross School for Health Sciences in Dr. Rinker’s honor in 2016 after he provided a $1.5 million gift for the Best Hall expansion, and presented him with the Distinguished Service Award at the 2019 Touchstone and Homecoming Celebration Dinner.

  • Touchstone

    Touchstone - Dr. James Ross Rinker, center, receives the Distinguished Service Award from Trine President Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., left, and Ned Haylett, president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

  • Anatomage Table

    Anatomage Table - Angela Bojrab, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, demonstrates the Anatomage Table in Best Hall of Science for Dr. James Ross Rinker.