The state of Maryland has approved a new scholarship program that benefits its four historically Black colleges and universities in honor of Richard Collins III, a Bowie State University student killed in 2017 in what authorities classified as a hate crime.
The 2nd Lt. Richard W. Collins III Leadership with Honor Scholarship will be funded by the state with $1 million annually. Recipients must be eligible for in-state tuition, a member of a Reserve Officer Training Corps, a member of an underrepresented group in the ROTC and must attend a historically black college or university.
The scholarship, to be split among BSU, Morgan State University, Coppin State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, will hopefully enable the ROTC program at BSU to grow from 85 students to 100 students.
Collins, a graduating senior at Bowie and ROTC member, was stabbed to death in May 2017 on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, just days before he was scheduled to receive his diploma.
Police classified the murder as a hate crime because the attacker was a White man who allegedly targeted Collins because he was Black.