donna spencer collins and president heineman


It was a full circle moment for liberal arts alumna, Rev. Donna Spencer Collins ’99, who never dreamed that, after a rocky start as a student in 1996, she would be coming back to NSCC and have the honor of giving the invocation at President William Heineman’s Inauguration on May 13, 2022.

Donna decided to attend NSCC as more of an exploration.  She was disabled at the time and it looked like her disability would be lifelong.  For years prior to coming to NSCC, she did not believe she was smart enough for college.  Learning did indeed prove to be challenging and during her first few weeks at NSCC, she almost quit several times.  Yet she persisted and the amazing staff from the Student Support Center helped her discover that she was dyslexic.  Once she understood what this meant and received reasonable accommodations, a whole new world opened up for her.  She could articulate what she was learning and began to thrive!

Once in the groove, Donna made the Dean's List every semester! To her amazement, she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society and a year later became PTK president. She loved being involved in Student Government, Program Council and the Harvard Model UN.

“My years at NSCC profoundly impacted my life and became a turning point for me, “said Donna.  “I graduated from NSCC in 1999 and had the privilege of being that year's Commencement speaker. I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree from Regis College and my Master of Divinity Degree from Andover Theological Seminary. Today, I am an ordained minister and a chaplain for Care Dimensions Hospice.”  “I would not have gotten where I am today if not for the resources and people at NSCC,” she declared. “It took a lot of work and sacrifice but has all been worth it.”

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