December 12, 1993 – May 20, 2017
Richard W. Collins III was the best of America. In high school he was a student athlete, competing in both soccer and lacrosse, and had a reputation as a servant leader both on the field and in the classroom. He was also regarded as an engaged, kind-hearted member of his church, with a congregant once remembering how compassionately he interacted with a group of deaf students on a field trip he had volunteered to go on.
Richard chose to attend Bowie State University (BSU) for college and when he joined its Army ROTC program he became the third generation of Collins men to follow a path of military service. He grew into a well-rounded young man during those years, and by his senior year, the vast potential of his military career became evident. Montrose Robinson, head of Bowie State’s ROTC recruiting, described him as “a star, a model cadet [who] excelled in physical training, and was an excellent student. He wanted to be a general officer, and he had what it would take to be a general.”
Richard’s commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant on May 18, 2017 should have been just the first step on his path to making an impact on this country. But all too soon the pride his parents felt on that day turned to grief when Richard was murdered in a senseless act of hate just days later on May 20, 2017. Stabbed by a white man on the University of Maryland campus days before his college graduation ceremony, his life was stolen just as his potential was being realized.
In fact, in tribute to the strength of his character, and his heroic action in the face of terror on the night he was murdered, Lt. Collins has since been promoted to 1st Lieutenant by the US Army— a testament to fact that this nation had lost one of its best.
Collins Military Family Legacy
Grandfather served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Richard W Collins Jr., his father, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War
Remembering Richard Collins III
The 2LT Richard W. Collins III Foundation’s mission is to invest in the education and empowerment of promising young Americans who’ve proven themselves to be outstanding citizens and are committed to working toward a hate-free, more just society for all.