Four former Missouri State University faculty and staff have been selected as the 2011 Wall of Fame inductees and will be honored with plaques in the Plaster Student Union in recognition of their work. The 2011 Wall of Fame Class includes: Irene Francka, John Patton, Dr. Robert Wilkinson, Jr. and the late James Herbert “Speedy” Collins. The 2011 inductees will be honored during a public ceremony held Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union, Ballroom West.
Nominations were gathered by a selection committee made up of faculty, staff and students. To qualify, nominees must have worked for the university full time for at least 10 years; additionally, five years must have passed since the individual was last employed full time at Missouri State. The nominees must be known and respected by various segments of the campus community for their demonstration of character and integrity, and their service must have resulted in meaningful change at the university.
Collins was an all-around sportsman who prided himself on pushing his students toward excellence on and off the field. He became a well-rounded athlete at Stockton High School, and as a student at Missouri State, he picked up a football for the first time – and lettered in it! He became the first Missouri State student to earn 12 letters before graduation. Professionally, he utilized his passion for sports to inspire athletes for generations to come by becoming the track coach at Missouri State University and later a football and track coach for Greenwood. He believed in contributing to the community, and he assisted in the establishment of the Blue and Gold Tournament. Later, he was recognized for his nearly 40 years at Missouri State through his induction into the first class of the Missouri State Athletics Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the Missouri Track Hall of Fame and the Missouri Officials Hall of Fame.