Yesterday, the Albion College community received news that English Professor Mary Collar passed away. Collar’s death was unexpected, and news of her passing comes as a deeply saddening surprise to members of the college community.
A part of Albion’s faculty for over 40 years, teaching mainly contemporary literature courses, Collar had a significant presence in the culture of Albion’s campus. Loved by many, her legacy will be carried on and cherished by students, faculty and staff alike.
Collar received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. In her career as an academic professional, Collar received grants for research from many prestigious universities, including Yale, Northwestern, Stanford and Illinois University, for her theories in contemporary literature.
In 2020, Albion College alumna Belinda Stapley (‘83) and Mitchell Stapley established the Mary Collar English Explicator Prize in Collar’s name in order to celebrate her mentorship to students at the college. Belinda Stapley and her daughter Emma Stapley (‘16) wanted Collar’s extensive support for students and passion for literature to be recognized in a monumental way. Each year, the award recognizes the excellence of Albion College junior for producing an extraordinary analysis on a piece of literature. Current senior Eryn Star was awarded the first Mary Collar English Explicator Prize in 2020.
The college plans to share more information regarding the details of Collar’s passing as it becomes available. Events will also be planned to celebrate Collar’s life and legacy.
“This news is difficult to process, and we will be reaching out to offer support to Dr. Collar’s students and colleagues,” said Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ron Mourad in an email sent out to the campus community. “Whether you were close to Dr. Collar or not, I encourage you to seek support if you need it.”
As students process the news of this deeply-felt loss, Counseling Services (517-629-0236) is available for support. Students can contact Campus Safety (517-629-1234) to speak to counselors on call after hours.
Additional resources are also available to aid students, faculty and staff during this difficult time.
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