September 19, 2011
Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B.
Saint Anselm College
I am writing to you with the sad news that the Saint Anselm College community lost a most beloved and accomplished senior member this weekend. Mr. Robert "Bob" Collins, alumnus, faculty member, executive team member, trustee and honorary degree recipient '80, as well as dear friend of the Abbey, was called home to the Lord he so faithfully served on Sunday morning at 95 years of age.
A member of the Class of 1937, Bob Collins was the first lay vice president at Saint Anselm. During his long career at the College he served as instructor in the English Department, director of public relations, vice president of college advancement, and Executive Vice President. His service to Saint Anselm, however, went far beyond what could be described in his impressive CV. In fact, so deeply was he identified with the College and its mission that he was known affectionately as "Mr. Saint Anselm."
"Never has there been a person who has so clearly and devotedly represented, and been such a great ambassador for Saint Anselm College," Abbot Matthew aptly said. "He embodied our Catholic and Benedictine mission in an outstanding way."
Many of you may not have the good fortune to know Bob Collins or experience working with him. But in his quiet and gracious way, he was instrumental in making Saint Anselm College what it is today. Not only did he fill the formal positions he held in exemplary fashion, he continued his service to the College and its community long after he retired, serving as a trustee, and an advisor and confidante to Saint Anselm's leadership. To recognize the many contributions that he and his wife made to the life of the college, we named two student residences in their memory: Collins House and Falvey House.
Just last year, he was integrally involved in the 75th anniversary celebration of the Red Key Society, which he had helped found. By his example, he showed fellow alumni the meaning of engagement.
He and his late, beloved wife Dorothy (Falvey) Collins were the proud parents of four Saint Anselm alumni, Robert, better known as Skip, '67, Christine '73, David '77 and Brian '81, and grandparents to Timothy Powers '01.
Bob Collins was fond of saying that he came to Saint Anselm College as a freshman in 1933 and never left. Indeed, Bob remains with us still, even after going to his eternal rest, through a varied and important legacy that benefits us all.
Beginning on Wednesday, the College flag will fly at half-mast for a week in his memory.
Mr. Collins' wake will be held at Lambert Funeral Home, 1799 Elm Street, Manchester, NH on Wednesday, 21 September, from 4 to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Saint Anselm Abbey Church on Thursday, 22 September at 10:30 a.m.
May the Lord grant him all the rewards promised to the good and faithful servant.
View Mr. Collins obituary, and leave a message of condolence, courtesy of Lambert Funeral Home.