Athletics is getting a big boost from former trustee Charles “Chuck” P. Collings ’73 and his wife, Elizabeth “Liz” S. Collings. The couple’s recent gift of $100,000 is helping to establish the Men’s Soccer Endowment, which will “support the needs and operations of the men’s soccer program at the University of Lynchburg.”
Another $400,000 is needed to fully fund — and begin disbursing — the endowment, noted Vice President for Advancement Dr. Mike Bonnette.
“We’re tremendously grateful to Chuck and Liz for their generous gift,” Bonnette said. “I’m confident more former student-athletes — and all those who support Lynchburg Athletics — will step forward to help fund the success of our men’s soccer program.”
A four-year soccer player and co-captain his senior year, Collings sees athletics as enhancing the student experience at Lynchburg. “You’re a winner on the field, you’re a winner in the classroom,” he said.
There’s one instance he’ll never forget. A sophomore at the time, Collings was struggling in a course. His professor reached out to him to help him come up with a plan to succeed.
“I was given a second chance,” he said. “The school gave me something that lasted me the rest of my life.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s in physical education, Collings joined the family investment business, C.C. Collings & Co. When the company was acquired by Legg Mason (now part of Franklin Templeton Investments), he stayed on for 20 more years.
All told, he’s worked in investment for 48 years, most recently as senior vice president at Collings, Page and Nolan Wealth Management.
In addition to yielding lifelong friendships, Lynchburg helped him “establish a discipline that I applied to my work ethic,” he said. “It stayed with me, and it made me want to reciprocate.”
Collings helped fund the construction of Shellenberger Field, home to Lynchburg’s soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey programs, and was a major donor to Drysdale Student Center. He also served on the board of trustees, including as chairman, from 2010 to 2019, but decided to give it up once he could no longer commit 110%.
He still visits campus whenever he can from his home in Pennsylvania. “Lynchburg has always remained very important to me,” Collings said. “I like to know what’s going on and what’s happening there.”
To him, it’s a long-term commitment, and he hopes other alumni feel that connection — and the need to give back — too.
“It’s a team effort,” he said. “I think alumni should support the school that gave them the tools to be productive in society.”
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