In the past week BU has sadly experienced two deaths among its community: Preston Herring and Michael Collins.
Herring, the vice president for Student Affairs passed away Tuesday, July 14 after a long battle with cancer. He committed 15 years to the university by overseeing the lives of students, story courtesy of BU Today.
“Dr. Herring’s dedication to each student’s experiences both inside and outside the classroom was evident in every decision he made and every project he led,” BU President David Soltz said in a written statement.
He was involved in countless aspects of the campus: residence life, career development, student activities, residence life, and counseling to name a few of the many responsibilities he possessed while working in Student Affairs.
“He took great pride in developing the concept for the Warren Student Services Center, which transformed the former library into a central location for student and academic services,” Soltz continued.
“He believed strongly in the importance of providing safe, high-quality housing for students, both on campus and in town, and worked tirelessly to strengthen the relationship between town residents and our students.”
“As a member of my President’s Advisory Council, he provided valuable insight. He was the ultimate professional and a true gentleman whose wise counsel we all will miss,” Soltz reflected.
For more details about Herring’s contributions to BU see this story on BU Today.
Collins, a professor of theatre arts, died Thursday, July 16. He taught several performance courses throughout the 20 years he served BU including directing, scene study, auditioning, and scriptwriting. The professor directed close to 40 productions and mentored student-written plays. Three of his students earned regional playwriting awards and one student was nominated for a KCACTF National Playwriting Award, according to a BU Theatre Arts Faculty page.
Collins started the London Study Abroad Program in 2000 and traveled to the United Kingdom each summer with colleagues to further enrich students by attending productions and studying theatre.
In addition to being a devoted and knowledgeable teacher, Collins was also a talented professional actor and director. He made an impact on the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, for which he performed in 15 productions. Recently, Collins was a part of a play called, “The Men of Mah Jongg,” which was written by Richard Atkins and directed by Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff. The production began showing in New York City on December 5, 2008. (Footage of Collins in the play below)
The Men of Mah Jongg from RCRAtkins on Vimeo.
For a more complete biography on Collins see this BU Faculty site.