Site Selected for Campus Memorial to Collins
First Winner of Scholarship Named for Slain Bowie State Student Announced
A site has been selected for a University of Maryland memorial to honor Lt. Richard W. Collins III, a Bowie State student who was killed on the College Park campus in 2017, President Darryll J. Pines announced Friday at an Inauguration Week event focused on racial justice.
An Army ROTC cadet at the University of Maryland was also named the first winner of a new scholarship in honor of Collins.
At “Forward With Hope: Never Shall We Forget,” the first annual spring symposium held by the Social Justice Alliance, a partnership between UMD and Bowie State University, Pines said that the permanent memorial will be in close proximity to the bus stop where Collins was murdered almost four years ago. Additional details on the memorial's design and timeline will be made available later.
“We must plan for the post-COVID world we want to live in—one where we recognize our shared humanity, and one where we are motivated to tackle the most pressing issues of our time,” Pines said. “I have great optimism for what we can achieve through the Social Justice Alliance.”
During the symposium, students and scholars from both universities and from national organizations discussed what could be learned from previous Black freedom movements, how to build solidarity across groups that hold different identities, and the kinds of support students need from administration and faculty.
UMD professor of sociology Rashawn Ray said an entire campus community should start by acknowledging the unprecedented nature of the pandemic aligning with police killings of unarmed Black people.
“We need to respect that people who are in college right now … are dealing with something we haven’t dealt with before,” he said. “We need to listen, have empathy and think of the best strategies to move forward and prepare you for the lives you are going to have after college.”
The first recipient of the Collins scholarship is Joshua Winston ’22, a Germantown native and member of Army ROTC who transferred to UMD last year after graduating from Montgomery College. Winston is studying for a degree in public policy with a minor in Army leadership. He is president of Black Students in Public Policy, represents public policy in the University Senate and Student Government, and works with the charity “Life Skills for Soldiers,” which seeks to improve the lives of service members with financial literacy courses.
Winston, described by UMD Army ROTC Commander Lt. Col. Marisa Pace as having a “strong character and a selfless heart,” hopes to eventually become a foreign service officer.
“I’m proud and excited,” Winston said. “It’s important for students to realize (Collins’) legacy is being recognized. He had a heart for service.”
Collins’ parents, Rick and Dawn, thanked both universities for continuing efforts in their son’s honor to end racial violence and live up to the ideals that Collins wanted to uphold.
“If we each do our part,” Rick Collins said, “we can build the more perfect union that Richard pledged to defend from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”