In Memoriam: Reneé Patricia Collins, 1950-2022

Reneé Collins, who served on the staff at Western Washington University in Bellingham for more than 30 years, died late last month in Bellingham. She was 71 years old.

Dr. Collins was a native of Harlem in New York City. She first came to Western Washington University in 1987 taking a position in the psychology department. She later worked in the Division of Business and Financial Affairs as well as the Equal Opportunity Office.

While working for the university Dr. Collins earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at the age of 47. She went on to earn a master’s degree in adult education at Western Washington University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University.

As she moved up the educational ladder, Dr. Collins took on higher-level administrative assignments. She served as director of the Ethnic Student Center and director of Student Outreach Services. She served terms as interim director of career services and academic advising and interim dean of students. She retired in 2019 as associate dean of students.

Dr. Collins founded the NAACP Northern Puget Sound Chapter and received the Community Builders Fellowship appointment by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, training at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

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