Associated Press, Published January 08 2012
Former Shanley High School prinicipal Brother Michael Collins dies at 74MINNEAPOLIS — Brother Michael Collins, one of the first black graduates of DeLaSalle High School in 1955 who came back in 1991 as its president, has died. He was 74.
The school issued a statement saying Collins died early Sunday at a northeast Minneapolis nursing home, a few blocks from the school on Nicollet Island in downtown Minneapolis, after a brief battle with cancer. Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, also confirmed Collins’ death.
The Star Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/Aog2a2 ) that Collins led what was once a struggling institution to new heights of enrollment, diversity and academic standing. It's a Catholic school where nearly half the 650 students are minorities and a third live in or near poverty, but it rivals predominantly white and wealthier private high schools in terms of national merit scholars and college placement rates.
Collins stressed that DeLaSalle students — whether the children of affluence or poverty — would be held to the same standards of decorum and effort. As part of its turnaround, he tapped a network of alumni and business friends who raised more than $25 million for scholarships and improvements.
Collins grew up in north Minneapolis. He entered the Christian Brothers teaching order after graduating from St. Mary's University in 1959. He returned to teach at DeLaSalle and later served as an educator and administrator at Shanley High School in Fargo; St. Mary's College High School in Berkeley, Calif.; and Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul.
Services were pending.