Honorary Dr. Melvin Collins will be retiring at the end of August, 2016 after 30 years of outstanding service to National University of Health Sciences. Mel Collins, a legend and celebrity on our campus, earned the NUHS Quality Service Award in 1986, a place in the university’s Hall of Honor in 2001, as well as receiving an honorary LLD degree in 2008. A friend to many, and an inspiration to all, several student yearbooks have also been dedicated to him
Mel previously worked in admissions for both Coe College and Drake University. He also worked from 1966 – 1970 for the American Chiropractic Association, helping set up admissions offices in chiropractic colleges nationwide. Eventually Dr. Joseph Janse, Dr. Ron Beideman and Dr. Leonard Faye invited him to work at National College of Chiropractic (now NUHS). Mel first worked as an admissions counselor, then as student outreach coordinator and ultimately as alumni outreach coordinator.
One of Mel’s notable accomplishments was starting the high school anatomy tour program in 1986. The first year only 5 schools participated. Within 10 years, Mel expanded the program to over 250 high schools, bringing more than 10,000 students in to visit campus and learn about anatomy and health care education.
Over the years, the NUHS community has proudly saluted Mel’s many honors as a World War II hero. His riveting story, “A Sailor’s Diary” appeared in American Legion magazine. After the war, Melvin Collins was decorated with the bronze star, Navy and Marine Corps medal. He is commemorated at both the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Admiral Nimitz Museum. He was chosen for a special Honor Flight for WWII veterans in 2012.
Mel Collins is retiring in great health at age 92. “I consider everyone here my friends and loved ones and could not be happier. I had nothing but rainbows and sunshine every year I’ve been here, and every year something new and exciting happened.”
Mel’s words of wisdom to students, faculty and staff at NUHS are: “Always be smiling every day you come to National University, because you’re doing something you love and helping humanity by giving wellness to people all over the world.”
“Mel is an institution with his boundless optimism” says NUHS President Joseph Stiefel. “And one of the few instances in the American lexicon where gentleman, hero and scholar aptly describe the man and are not merely generally used ‘colloquialisms.'”