The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) presented Patricia Collins of Caribou with the David C. Knapp Award for Trusteeship at its thirteenth annual New England Higher Education Excellence Award ceremony held in Boston on Friday, March 13, 2015.   The former Chairwoman of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, Mrs. Collins was recognized for her substantive contributions to improving higher education opportunities in Maine and New England.

Patricia Collins served on the UMS Board from 1987 to 1997 and in 1991 was selected as the second woman ever to serve as Board Chair.  The University System embarked on some of its most ambitious and far-reaching initiatives under her leadership, including the launch of Maine’s first technology-based distance education programs. Many policies and programs begun during her tenure continue to the present day. Her son, Sam Collins, is the current chair of the UMS Board of Trustees. Her daughter, Susan Collins, was recently elected to her fourth term in the United States Senate.

Patricia Collins holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Maine and a bachelor’s in art from the University of Maine at Presque Isle.   She has served the public in a variety of roles in a decades-long commitment to community service. In 2005, Mrs. Collins was elected to the Maine Woman’s Hall of Fame.

“Patricia Collins has been a great champion of higher education, establishing a great legacy of public service,” said James H. Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System.  “The David C. Knapp Award for Trusteeship is a high honor befitting Pat’s many contributions and years of service. We are extremely proud that a former chairwoman of our board has earned this recognition and we are extremely grateful for her service to Maine and to our students.”

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