Donor pays it forward in honor of beloved mentor continuing a family tradition of giving

Teresa Love

Bill Collins III (’78) has generously contributed $49,000 to support trumpet scholarships within the UNT College of Music. In honor of his grandfather, Collins gave $19,000 to the Bill Collins, Sr. Scholarship in Dixieland Jazz Trumpet-Cornet, a scholarship initiated by William Collins, Jr. (’38). Collins also donated $30,000 to establish and support the Don and Dory Jacoby Jazz Trumpet (Endowed) Scholarship.

Collins’ father (William Collins, Jr.) supported UNT throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Collins continues his family tradition of giving to UNT through gifts to these family-established scholarship and others.

Don "Jake" Jacoby was a noted trumpeter, teacher, bandleader and author. Bill Collins III met Jacoby after playing with him at a private event while Collins was a student at UNT. Jacoby took Collins under his wing and began to offer him free private lessons. Jacoby went on to tutor many UNT trumpet students until his death in 1992. A great many UNT trumpet players owe their success to Don Jacoby. “Don’s instruction was critical and came at a time when the jazz program at UNT wasn’t yet well developed,” says Collins. “Because of Don Jacoby, UNT saw a need to dedicate more resources and develop the Jazz Studies program.”

In 2010, Collins and his wife Susan approached UNT with the intention to create an endowed scholarship in honor of Don Jacoby and his wife Dory. He banded together with many of Jacoby’s former UNT students and even reached out via Facebook to encourage others to support the fund. Although others contributed to this fund, Collins’ most recent gift establishes it as an endowment. “Jake always told me, ‘Patience is an asset; impatience is a liability.’ That’s what has kept me motivated and focused to make this scholarship a reality,” says Collins.


Above: Bill and Susan Collins