Roger Collins was a utility player on the York College team. In his 29 years at YC on the faculty and staff, he was often asked to give a little more—coach a team, lead a student business group, teach another class, fill a vacancy on the staff. No matter what the position, he was willing and capable, always ready to serve with humility.
For all his contributions to York College, Dr. Collins was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at a luncheon event during Homecoming. While the late Dr. Collins could not be there to accept the award, his friends and family turned out to honor him at this special event.
Collins came to YC first as a student in 1971. He played soccer, studied business, and fell in love with classmate Debbie Cosby, whom he wed in 1975. What made Roger stand out from the crowd was his dedication to doing what was right, even when circumstances were challenging, and his willingness to work hard to achieve his goals, says college roommate Ken Gibson ’73.
He graduated from York College and finished his bachelor’s degree in business at Harding University. He was working in agriculture commodities in Omaha when Dr. Mabrey Miller recruited him to come back to York College.
“He felt like that’s where Jesus wanted him to serve,” says his sister Birgie (Collins ’71) Niemann. His mission was to impact students.
That’s just what he did for nearly three decades.
In his long tenure at YC he was a soccer coach, a business manager, a business professor, department chair of the college's Elijah A. Levitt School of Business, and a track and cross country coach.
While teaching and coaching full time, he made his education a priority, earning an MBA, CPA certification, and PhD over the years. He also served as an elder at East Hill Church of Christ.
His students and athletes remember him as a gracious and wise teacher, a constant encourager, and one who always sought their best academically, athletically, and spiritually.
Dr. Collins passed away suddenly in October 2010, leaving a deep void in the YC community. In 2011, an anonymous donor endowed a chair in Collins' name in the Levitt School of Business.
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