Collins' Endowed Scholarship in Chemistry

These scholarships are awarded to senior professional chemistry and biochemistry majors who will be enrolled in an undergraduate research project for two semesters during their senior year.

Ronald and Gerrie Collins

A photo of Ronald W. Collins.
A photo of Ronald W. Collins.


Ronald W. Collins joined the EMU faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry in 1965. He was promoted to associate professor in 1967 and a full professor in 1971. Professor Collins served as acting head of the chemistry department from 1977 to 1978, and was named head of the department in 1979. A year later, he was promoted to associate vice president for academic affairs and he served as acting vice president from 1982 to 1983. He was named provost and vice president of academic affairs in August 1983.

During his tenure as provost, the University's first doctoral program was approved, the honors program was initiated, the World College was created and the Department of African American Studies was established.  In addition, the basic studies (general education) requirements were revised; a Faculty Center for Instructional Excellence and a Center for Instructional Computing were established; a comprehensive review process was implemented; and the formation of the extended programs area was achieved.

Provost Collins earned his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Dayton and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Indiana University. Prior to joining EMU, he was employed for four years as an inorganic research chemist at Wyandotte Chemicals Corporation in Wyandotte, Mich.

Provost Collins was a nationally-recognized scholar and expert in the field of instructional computer usage. In 1977, he received Eastern Michigan University's first Distinguished Faculty Award. He also received the University of Dayton Alumni Association's Special Achievement Award in 1979. In 1980, he was awarded the Chemical Manufacturers Association's Catalyst Award, a national honor presented to only four faculty members each year.

Provost Collins passed away in 2001, two years after his wife of 39 years, Gerrie Collins.  They had two daughters, Debbie and Sharon.  Gerrie was an active supporter of many EMU activities.  Ron, Gerrie, and Debbie were fixtures at many athletic and cultural events.  Sharon has also been a valued member of the EMU community, having received a Master's Degree in Communications from EMU.  She has served as a part-time lecturer and as a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Resource Board, where she has continued the family tradition of generously donating to EMU.