In the Comments section of Tommy Collins nomination ballot his sponsor submitted a brief paragraph which summarized most eloquently the reasons why his candidate should be one of the select few to be listed in the Punahou Athletic Hall of Fame. He wrote: “The amazing thing about Tom Collins was that he had polio when he was 7 – 8 years old which resulted in a shortened left leg. In addition, he only weighed 150 – 155 pounds while at Punahou and 165 – 170 pounds in college. Despite these physical shortcomings he was an outstanding athlete, winning letters and honors at Punahou and Dartmouth”.This article appears as originally published in the Fall 1986 issue of the Punahou Bulletin.
That pretty much tells the broad story – but here are some supporting details; a Punahou student from the first grade, Tommy’s athletic ability surfaced in Junior Academy and bloomed in his sophomore, junior and senior years during which he won ten letters: two in football; three in basketball; three in baseball, and two in tennis.
A varsity first string halfback in 1947 and 1948, his aggressive play won ILH First Team All Star honors in 1948. In basketball he was a varsity regular for three years and captained thee team in his junior year. His all-around play netted him 2nd Team ILH All-Star honors in his senior year. Winning another three letters in baseball he captained the team in his senior year. In tennis he was elected captain of the varsity squad in both his junior and senior years. An honor roll student he served on the Student Council and Student Court.
Entering Dartmouth in 1948 he immediately made the Junior Varsity Football team and became a varsity regular in his sophomore, junior and senior years. In his senior year (1951) he was named all Ivy League Defensive Back.
Following Dartmouth, Tommy studied law at Pennsylvania Law School and the University of California-Berkeley from which he graduated in 1955.
After a stint in the U.S. Navy he practiced law in California from 1958 – 1976 becoming the senior partner in a prestigious San Jose firm.
While in California he was an active tennis player winner numerous singles and doubles titles in the 35 year old leagues. An avid sailor he sailed his own boat on lengthy cruises form California to the South Seas in 1977 and 1978. Returning to Honolulu in 1979 he served as a Campbell Estate Staff Lawyer until his untimely death in 1981. We welcome the late Tom Collins into the Punahou Athletic Hall of Fame.
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