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Michael J. Collins Endowment in Chemistry

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This fund was established by Michael J. Collins in 2001 for the purpose of supporting programs, teaching and research in microwave chemistry as it relates to life science opportunities in the Department of Chemistry.

Collins was born in Albany, GA. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1965 from the University of Florida and a doctorate in physical chemistry in 1971 from the University of Texas.

Collins’ first job was with the Celanese Corporation in Charlotte. There, he and some colleagues developed theories that would become the basis for the technology that led him to create his own company, CEM Corporation. He founded the microwave technology company in 1978 and served as its president and CEO.

Inc. magazine named Collins “Entrepreneur of the Year” for North Carolina in 1990. More than a decade later in 2003, Collins brought the first International Microwaves in Chemistry conference to Gainesville.

He and wife, Lesren, have three children; Jonathan, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UF in 2002, Michael, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UF in 2001 and Meghan, who earned an associate’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from UF in 2009.

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