Occidental Admission Building to be Named Dennis and Mollie Collins Admission House
The Occidental College Admission building will be named the “Dennis and Mollie Collins Admission House” to honor the retiring president of The James Irvine Foundation and his wife, thanks to a $1 million gift from the Foundation to the College.
Collins, who has headed the Irvine Foundation since 1985, served as a teacher of modern languages, director of admission, and dean of students at Occidental from 1963 to 1970 and is currently an Occidental trustee. Mollie Collins, a founder of the Belvedere Partners executive search firm, played a key role in recruiting Occidental’s current vice presidents of admission and development. Their daughter, Lindsey, is an Occidental alumna.
“I cannot think of a more magnificent gesture by the Irvine board on behalf of its departing leader, a man who has provided critical leadership to philanthropic enterprise during one of the greatest periods of wealth transfer in our country’s history,” said Occidental College President Theodore Mitchell.
“Nor can I think of a more fitting tribute on our campus than the naming of the Admission building, the portal through which so many young people enter our world, a world that Dennis and Mollie have done so much to shape,” Mitchell said.
Originally built in 1922 as the home for Occidental’s sixth president, Remsen Bird, the Admission building was designed by noted architect Myron Hunt, who created the master plan for the Occidental campus and designed every building erected on campus until his retirement in 1940.
The Irvine Foundation’s $1 million gift will allow Occidental to name the Admission building, create a commemorative area on the building’s ground floor, and to provide support for College efforts in admission, student life, and other projects in which the Collinses have been involved over the years.
The Collins Admission House will be rededicated in a formal ceremony in the fall of 2002.
The James Irvine Foundation (www.irvine.org) is an independent grantmaking foundation dedicated to enhancing the social, economic, and physical quality of life throughout California, and to enriching the state’s intellectual and cultural environment. The Foundation was established in 1937 by James Irvine, the California pioneer whose 110,000-acre Orange County ranch was among the largest privately owned land holdings in the state. With assets of $1.4 billion, the Foundation expects to make grants of $66 million in 2002 for the people of California.