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We bid farewell to a longtime friend and
OHC supporter, Maribeth W. Collins

Maribeth W. Collins Maribeth W. Collins (1918–2017)

We were saddened to learn of the passing of longtime OHC friend and supporter Maribeth Wilson Collins on October 4, 2017, just three weeks shy of her 99th birthday. Though she chose to stay out of the limelight, Mrs. Collins, a UO alumna (B.A. English, 1940), was a generous and loyal supporter of the Oregon Humanities Center for almost 30 years. She began giving to the Center during our NEH Challenge grant in the late 1980s, and steadily continued and increased her support over the years. Among her many generous gifts were those for the production of the OHC’s three-part video documentary, “A History of the University of Oregon” (2008), which would not have been completed without her belief in the project and her steady support.

Mrs. Collins’s most significant gift to the OHC was an endowment, made in memory and honor of one of her favorite UO English professors, Ernest G. “Gerry” Moll, for a faculty research fellowship in literary studies. Our faculty research fellowship program is the most important and substantive way in which the OHC supports humanities faculty. These fellowships provide faculty with a term off from teaching to pursue a research project without interruption, allowing them to make significant progress towards completing the books and scholarly articles that are essential to their professional advancement. First awarded in 2003–04, The Ernest G. Moll Faculty Fellowship in Literary Studies has now supported the work of 27 humanities faculty from departments and units including English, Romance Languages, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, German and Scandinavian, and the Clark Honors College. Currently the OHC’s only endowment for faculty research, The Moll endowment supports up to two or three faculty fellowships per year, thanks to Mrs. Collins’s vision and generosity.

We deeply miss our kind, gracious, and thoughtful friend, whose love for her family, as well as for dogs, goats, modern art, nature, and poetry (among other things), together with her incomparable generosity, will remain with us always. Goodbye, gentle friend. You’ve left a lasting mark on the world, and will continue to inspire us.

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