May 13, 2013
Michael F. Collins—Magis, the Latin term for “more,” is used to describe the impulse to reach ever greater achievements for God and others. Whether you are leading one of the nation’s top academic health sciences centers or serving as a volunteer board member for a college or nonprofit, you embody the idea of magis as you constantly seek to elicit the best performance from yourself and your colleagues. In this way, you have made vital institutions stronger, more collaborative and more supportive of the people they serve.
From your earliest years as a physician, you endeavored to magnify your impact on patients’ health by teaching future medical professionals and by helping healthcare organizations to embrace innovation in research and patient care. This led to a series of senior roles at academic medical centers, culminating in your current position as Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Soon after your arrival in 2007, you set forth a visionary strategic plan for the Commonwealth’s public medical school. This resulted in a pioneering new curriculum and a historic transformation of the campus, highlighted by the 500,000-square-foot Albert Sherman Center. You also increased cooperation among UMass Medical School’s diverse divisions, with the effect of strengthening their ability to bring the latest medical knowledge and know-how to nonprofits and state agencies, and to translate laboratory discoveries into tangible treatments that bring healing and hope to countless lives.
Dr. Collins, in addition to making formidable contributions to public health, you have been a source of professional and personal guidance to a generation of students and younger colleagues. They speak often of how you took a heartfelt interest in them, inspired them to succeed and were there for them not once, but for life. For all your efforts to bring more to individuals and communities here in Massachusetts and around the world, Emmanuel College is pleased to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.