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Collins Estate Gift Creates New Pediatric Professorship

Donor Collins 1

A Toledo woman's $2 million bequest to The University of Toledo, in memory of her son, will support research, innovative diagnostic services, and clinical services in support of treatment for children with disabilities.

Louise Collins, who died in January at the age of 104, was a former home economics teacher for Toledo Public Schools. She and her husband, Edmund Collins, Jr., both Scott High School graduates, raised a daughter, Susan, and son, Edmund Vickroy Collins (Vick), who was born with developmental disabilities.

"Vick was a very friendly, likable individual," said Donald Pennell, the Collins' son-in-law and husband of their late daughter, Susan. "He frequently rode his big Schwinn bike, which he called Speedy, around the neighborhood, stopping to hug and talk to all who knew him. And if they did not know him, he would stop to get to know them." Vick also had several friends through his work at a sheltered workshop and always had a good attitude, Mr. Pennell said.

Donor Collins 2

When Vick died in 1990 at the age of 49, Mrs. Collins and her late husband established the Edmund V. Collins Children's Endowment at the former Medical College of Ohio. The gift was a result of the family's friendship with their neighbors, MCO president Richard Ruppert and his wife, Libby.

The Rupperts had always taken a fond interest in Vick, Mr. Pennell said, and oversaw a study done by MCO to determine what factors may have contributed to Vick's disabilities. The results were inconclusive.

"Many years later," said Mr. Pennell, "Louise realized that there was much more she could do financially to support research, innovative diagnostic services, and clinical services in support of treatment for children with disabilities."

Her bequest established the Edmund Vickroy Collins Professorship in the UT department of pediatrics, according to Howard Newman, associate vice president for development for UT's Health Science Campus.

"This gift will help build a program to support children with developmental disablities and special needs, through research and the application of knowledge to new clinical programs," said Mr. Newman.

"While serving children with special needs, as well as their families," he noted, "the endowed professorship will also serve as a lasting legacy to the Collins family."

To learn more about making an estate gift to UT, contact Paul Hood, director of planned giving, at 419-530-5303 or paul.hood@utoledo.edu.

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