Richard Collins ’59 and Anne Collins ’61
Returning to Maine in the mid-90’s after living abroad, Anne and Dick Collins ’59 and ’61 immediately got caught up in helping their alma mater.
“We were asked to do various things and since we had been away for so long, we decided, ‘well, why not!’’’ says Anne, who earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Maine.
“We kept going from there. And we found we really enjoyed it. We still do.”
Over the years, Anne and Dick continued to support the University of Maine, serving on committees; raising funds for building projects; and establishing scholarships. Currently helping to lead Campaign Maine, they also are organizing their respective class reunions.
“We love this University,” says Dick, who received a bachelor’s degree in economics from UMaine and went on to study business at New York University. “We want to make sure it continues to grow and continues to make a positive difference in the lives of our young people.”
UMaine provided Anne and Dick with a strong foundation, the couple agrees. Dick’s job with an international insurance company took them around the globe, and meeting so many people at the University “helped us grow and interact and learn to take care of ourselves,” says Anne, who grew up in Belfast.
Dick, a native of St. Agatha, says the knowledge and skills he gained at UMaine prepared him well for his career.
“I’ve gotten to know people in 80-90 different countries and they’re no different than we are. They have the same goals and aspirations. We have a lot in common.”
Wish you were here!
Postcards from all over the world help Betsy ‘55 and Bill Leitch keep tabs on University of Maine students who get to travel thanks to the couple’s generous gifts.
Because of the Leitches’ contributions to the Honors College Travel and Research Fund, among others, UMaine students have been able to attend conferences and perform research in many different states and countries.
One student visited Ellis Island to learn about his family history. Another spent time at a cheetah rehabilitation center in Kenya. This year, several are studying in Amsterdam.
Betsy and Bill delight in the hundreds of entertaining and informative posts they receive from young people enjoying their worldly experiences.
“The students are very good about sending postcards,” says Betsy, a retired economist. “We keep them for years.”
The Leitches, who live in Newtonville, Mass., are gratified knowing they’re helping students expand their horizons and develop new perspectives. “Having opportunities to see the differences among people is important to living a good life,” Betsy says.
Bill likes to think he and Betsy are setting a good example.
“My great hope is that, in another 15 years when these students have some money, they’ll try to do something for other people, too.”
Tom Savage ’68 always has been grateful to the University of Maine for giving him the opportunity to get a good education and make lifelong friendships.
But it was hindsight that helped him realize what a boon UMaine is to the Bangor area and the state as a whole.
“It occurred to me years after I graduated,” says Tom, a retired attorney. “I started going to athletic events and saw all the people who graduated from here and were doing well. I saw how important the University is to the state and how it gives kids in Maine the chance to get an education and compete in today’s world.”
Today, Tom and Sally, who live in Key Largo and maintain a summer home in Searsport, are enthusiastic supporters of the University’s athletic programs.
Black Bear sports “brings people on campus and helps them appreciate UMaine,” Sally says. “It breaks down barriers and makes better community relations.”
Tom says he has been impressed with the coaches’ “concern for the student athletes as people.”
“It’s not just about wins and losses for these coaches,” he says. “They genuinely care about the students as individuals and they want the best for them. They try to help them grow as people, not just athletes.”
Phil Morse ’64 remembers Room 236 in Corbett Hall with special fondness.
“That’s where I was in 1960 when Bill Mazeroski hit his winning home run for the Pirates. I was sitting by the window with a couple of guys, looking out across the campus and listening to the World Series on the radio. It was a great event,” says Phil who has lots of wonderful memories of the University of Maine.
A star athlete who played first base for the Black Bears, Phil jokes that he was “more aggressive on the baseball field than academics.” Still, after graduating he founded a company that manufactures parts to diagnose and treat heart disease.
He and Susan ’64, who belonged to the University’s prestigious All Maine Women Honor Society and is a retired educator, live in Glens Falls, N.Y. The couple, along with Harold Alfond, made the naming gift for the Harold Alfond Stadium and Morse Field.
“We love UMaine,” says Phil, who credits the University with reinforcing the family values he got at home. “It was a wonderful place to go to school. The professors were caring and attentive. Everyone was friendly. I probably knew half the people on campus.”
Back then, Don McBeth and Dewey Chase were among his closest pals. They still are.
“We’ve been friends since our Sigma Chi days,” Phil says proudly. “Forty seven years of enduring friendship.”
Image Description: Dick and Anne Collins
Image Description: Betsy and Bill Leitch
Image Description: Tom Savage '68 and Sally Savage
Image Description: Phil and Susan Morse