Last week’s tragic death of Illinois State University senior Michael Collins sparked an outpouring of good deeds on campus and around Bloomington-Normal—even across the country.

Collins was an active member of the Illinois State community and is being remembered as a bright and witty friend by those who knew him. An exercise science major, Collins also assisted his father, Jim, in coaching baseball at University High School, an Illinois State laboratory school.

Rallying around the hashtag #MCStrong, Collins’ supporters launched an online fundraising campaign to help his family with medical expenses. Student groups raised additional money, and a grassroots Pay It Forward for Michael Collins effort on Facebook honors his “legacy of kindness.”

“Michael’s tragic death reminds us that life is indeed precious. His wish to be an organ donor also serves as a reminder that even in the midst of grief, life continues,” Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said Thursday. “We can all take a lesson from his selflessness and learn more about organ donation.”

That’s just the beginning of the impact Collins had on his Illinois State family. Check out our social media recap below for a closer look at how the campus and community are responding to his death and honoring his life.

Information about Collins’ funeral is available from Carmody-Flynn Funeral Home. Students seeking support should contact Student Counseling Services.

Ryan Denham can be reached at