Canisius Names Bill Collins VP for Institutional Advancement

 Buffalo, NY – Canisius President John J. Hurley has appointed William M. Collins, the former principal and co-founder of Travers Collins, to the position of vice president for institutional advancement at the college. Collins will oversee all advancement functions at Canisius, which include fundraising, alumni engagement, marketing, public relations, creative services and website services. As vice president for institutional advancement, Collins also serves as Canisius’ chief development and external relations officer.

Collins will assume the position on August 19.

“Bill Collins is a consummate professional who brings to Canisius a wealth of experience in public relations, marketing and not for profit leadership in our community,” said Canisius President John J. Hurley. “I am thrilled to add him to our team at Canisius and I know he will be an exceptional leader for our institutional advancement team.”

Collins was most recently a principal of Travers Collins, an agency which he co-founded with Bob Travers in 1995. Prior to its sale to The Martin Group last month, the agency was one of Western New York’s leading marketing-communications agencies.

"I am honored and delighted to join Canisius College which I consider to be one of the bedrock institutions in Buffalo," Collins said. "I am looking forward to working with President Hurley, the trustees, faculty and staff at the college to advance the mission of Canisius which can only result in great things for our community."

Collins began his career as a copywriter at Weil Levy & King. He quickly advanced through the ranks to become director of public relations services at the agency. In 1982, Collins was named division president of Levy King & White’s public relations practice. Collins founded the practice, which he named Collins & Company, and built it into one of the largest and most accomplished public relations practices in the region.

Several years later, Collins moved to the Schutte Group (later renamed Schutte Travers Collins & Schutte), where he successfully built and operated the public relations practice and served as a member of the firm’s five-person management committee. 

An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Collins is a former director of the PRSA Buffalo/Niagara Chapter and past president of both the Professional Communicators of Western New York (now known as the Advertising Club) and the Public Relations Association of Western New York.

Collins’ success throughout his three-plus decades in the marketing and communications industry earned him several awards and recognitions: The Professional Communicators of Western New York presented him with its Crystal Prism Award for his contributions to the communications industry. The Buffalo Advertising Club named Collins the David I. Levy Communicator of the Year in recognition of his overall excellence in the field. The Public Relations Society of America (Buffalo/Niagara Chapter) recognized Collins with its Practitioner of the Year Award. The award honors an individual who represents the best in public relations.

A devoted community volunteer, Collins shares his time and talents with countless organizations throughout Western New York. Currently, he is chair of YMCA of Buffalo Niagara Board of Trustees, as well as the Catholic Health System’s Continuing & Long Term Care Foundation. Collins is also a member of People Inc.’s Board of Directors. He and his wife, Donna, are co-chairs of the Bishop’s Council of the Laity.

A native of Buffalo, Collins graduated from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute and St. Bonaventure University with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.