By Brianna McAdoo, AFRO Staff Writer, [email protected]

In honor of 2nd Lt. Richard W. Collins III, whose life was tragically cut short just before his graduation from Bowie State University last year, Maryland legislators launched a scholarship. On Nov. 28 Maryland legislative leaders alongside Bowie State University President Aminta H. Breaux hosted a ceremony in honor of the new state funded scholarship.

Collins was fatally stabbed on May 20, 2017 while standing at a bus stop on Regents Drive at the University of Maryland’s campus. Sean Urbanski, 23, was charged with the murder of Collins as well as a hate crime. Investigators discovered Urbanski belonged to a hate group on Facebook that spewed hateful rhetoric about both women and minorities.

Maryland legislators launched a scholarship in honor of 2nd Lt. Richard W. Collins III, who was slain as a result of a hate crime on the campus of University of Maryland, days before his graduation from Bowie State University. (Facebook Photo)

Collin’s had been commissioned as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army two days before he was murdered and had been set to graduate days later.

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (District 27) and Maryland Senate Majority Leader Douglas J.J. Peters (District 23) were co-contributors of the legislation making the 2nd Lt. Richard W. Collins III Leadership with Honor Scholarship possible. Governor Larry Hogan signed off on the measure for the scholarship, which allots $1 million a year to be set aside for the scholarship.  The scholarship will provide financial assistance to ROTC cadets at the historically Black colleges and universities in Maryland in commemoration of the life, character and legacy of 2nd Lt. Collins.

Breaux, Miller and Peters were all in attendance at the launch ceremony along with members of the Collins family.

“He was a shining example of what every child should be,” Miller said at the launch ceremony according to the Capital Gazette.

First Lt. Marcus Craig, who was a year ahead of the fallen lieutenant at Bowie, shared his memories of Collins.

“I witnessed his development into an exceptional scholar, athlete and leader,” he said. “Lt. Collins was intelligent, articulate and very studious.”

At his funeral, Dawn Collins expressed that she hoped her son’s memory would live beyond his untimely death.

“Do not let my son’s life and legacy be in vain,” she said.

Now, though Collins is no longer physically present, his life and legacy will continue to inspire and uplift Black cadets while simultaneously creating more access to funds for furthering their educations and futures.

“To that end, this is only the first step of a journey,” Collins said about the scholarship in her son’s name.