University of Louisville faculty and staff have played a significant role in the success of the Charting Our Course comprehensive campaign, contributing more than $27 million to the billion-dollar effort. (See Keith Inman’s letter to the campus community.) This is the fifth in a series of profiles of UofL faculty and staff, the areas they support and their reasons for giving back to the university.

Wanda Lott Collins, PhD

Wanda Lott Collins, PhD, is a professor and distinguished teaching scholar in the Kent School of Social Work. She is also the director of the bachelor of social work program. She joined the social work faculty in 2000. Her donation went to the James and Catherine Badley Lott Scholarship, which is awarded to help minority BSW students with school supplies, books, tuition or other educational expenses.

Reasons for giving to this program:  The Badley Lott family dedicated this scholarship in memory of my deceased parents, who modeled social work values in their southern community by serving alcoholics, prostitutes, neighbors that had fallen on hard times or women with more month than money. 

Your history/involvement with this organization: Along with my two brothers and two sistersI started the Badley Lott Scholarship in 2005 at a rural southern church that contributed to our religious development and spiritual growth. Following Mrs. Lott’s death, we sought a way to pay tribute to the values of being a servant through service to others. Our focus was to give to others out of their abundance. 

Why you feel it’s important to give back to the university: Kent School provides the Badley Lott family with an opportunity to invest in social work students who are preparing to make a difference in the lives of marginalized and disempowered families. It is a rich platform for acts of service.

Is there anything else you would like to add? In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “. . . You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.  You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”