2020 Kauffman Award Presented to

Vicki Collins

The annual Kauffman Award for outstanding service to the Center for Lifelong Learning was presented to Vicki Collins at the annual Earl F. Kauffman Remembrance Day Luncheon, April 21, 2022.

[Note: Due to Covid concerns, no Kauffman luncheons were held in 2020 or 2021, so this presentation was made in 2022.]

Vicki Collins is the third USC Aiken instructor to receive this award since it was instituted in 1992.

Vicki CollinsBorn in North Carolina and reared in East Tennessee, Vicki Joan Collins earned her B.S. at East Tennessee State University and an M.A. at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. As a lifetime educator, she taught at various secondary schools, colleges and universities throughout the southeast during her career. She joined the faculty of University of South Carolina Aiken in 1989, where she held a Professorship in English.

Vicki was a writer most of her life. Her poetry and prose has appeared in many literary publications. Her book The Silent Appalachian: Wordless Mountaineers in Fiction, Film, and Television was published by McFarland & Company. Vicki became an active member of the Augusta Poetry Society, the Aiken County Library Board and various author/writer groups in the southeast.

She was the Director of USC Aiken's Writing Room and received numerous awards including the 2015 University Service Award, the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award, and Student Education Advisor of the year.

While at USC Aiken, for well over a decade Vicki could be relied upon to teach numerous courses for the Academy dealing with various aspects of literature and writing, and especially with her lifelong interest in Appalachian culture. She was very popular with Academy students and many would sign up for whatever course she offered on any subject, knowing it would be worthwhile, interesting, and enjoyable. From Spring 2013 through Spring 2019, Vicki provided the Academy with a well attended course every semester. She retired from USC Aiken with health issues shortly thereafter.

Vicki Collins' husband DavidFor her continued support of the efforts of the Academy, Vicki Collins was selected as the recipient of the Academy's Kauffman Award for 2020. Sadly, Vicki passed away only a month later, before the award could be presented, so she never learned of this honor. Vicki's husband David Collins accepted the award on her behalf when the Academy's successor organization, the Center for Lifelong Learning resumed the Kauffman Remembrance lunches in 2022.