Arkansas State University - Newport

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July 2021

Woman donates $100k to ASU-Newport: ‘All I ever want to do is help’

By Region 8 News Desk

NEWPORT, Ark. (KAIT) - Students enrolled in Arkansas State University-Newport’s health professions program can look forward to a bright future thanks to the largesse of an optometrist’s widow.

The college announced Tuesday that Laura Collier of Newport donated $100,000 to establish a scholarship endowment.

According to a news release, the money will be used to provide scholarships to those seeking a future in healthcare.

“We need more and more nurses every day,” Collier was quoted as saying. “I don’t care where people come from. What their background is. I just want to be able to help those that need a little encouragement. I want each student to know that there are people that want to see them succeed.”

Collier’s late husband, Dr. James Collier, was an optometrist in Newport.

She recalled the “sense of peace and comfort” the nursing staff provided him when he needed nursing home care later in life.

“Collier said there is a special place in her heart for nurses, especially those that work in the nursing home setting,” the release stated.

Collier is no stranger to supporting students at ASU-Newport, having established the Dr. James and Laura Jane Collier Health Professions Scholarship several years ago.

She said her focus has always been on helping those who need it most.

“All I ever want to do is help,” Collier said. “I want everyone to knew they have someone that has their back.”

In addition to contributing money, Collier gives freely of her time. According to ASU-Newport, she volunteers at numerous Northeast Arkansas organizations.

“She works particularly close with the prison population, providing help with rehabilitation and support after release,” the release stated.

Dr. Johnny M. Moore, chancellor of ASUN, called Collier the “epitome” of what a community college is built on.

“Her giving spirit is helping students from all walks of life build a positive future,” Moore said. “We can’t thank her enough for her continued support of our students, as well as all of the other people she helps through her philanthropic endeavors.”

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