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May 19, 2006

Bench dedication to Jack "Cactus" Collins May 22

On Monday, May 22 at 5:15 p.m. in the Grove, those inspired by Dr. Jack "Cactus" Collins will receive another opportunity to pay him tribute at a dedication ceremony for the Cactus Jack Collins Memorial Bench.

Collins, a former dean of men, director of student teachers, and one of ULM's most vigorous and dedicated supporters, died at age 77 on Dec. 31.

The memorial granite bench will be located under the tree Collins often visited when he needed a quite place to relax and reflect. The tree, which Collins named Jeremiah, is located behind the student side of the bleachers at Malone Stadium in the Grove on the ULM campus.

"Jack has always had someplace where he could go and be by himself and meditate about everything going on, in times of happiness or sadness," said his wife Violet Collins. "He found this place out at ULM where he would like to go each day and hit a bucket of golf balls. His golf group and I thought that this would be an appropriate place for people to come and find some peace."

At Monday's dedication, Megan Makar, Collins' granddaughter and the facilities coordinator at ULM's Conference Center, will explain the history and motivation behind the dedication.

Collins originally hailed from Gladewater, Texas, and received his doctorate from McNeese State College in 1969. He served at ULM from 1960 until his retirement in 1985, but he did not rest on his well-deserved laurels.

Collins further aided the university through his tenure as president of the ULM Booster Club in 1987, and he served for several years on the Booster Drive Campaign. Collins proved the top money producer on numerous occasions and was honored for his commitment and loyalty by the Indian Athletic Foundation in 2004.

Collins promoted the Kappa Alpha Fraternity at ULM during his over 20 years as faculty advisor, for which the national organization recognized him with the Knight Commander Award.

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