J. Markham Collins, Edward E. and Helen T. Bartlett Foundation Professor of Finance and Energy, and his wife, Becky (MS ’87), who recently retired as president and CEO of Tulsa Global Alliance, were honored by the Tulsa Global Alliance for their contributions to citizen diplomacy and international understanding at the 20th annual Global Vision Awards held Oct. 7 in Tulsa. Also honored were APSCO, Inc. and Philip C. Lauinger, Jr., who received The Nancy and Raymond Feldman Lifetime Achievement Award for Citizen Diplomacy.
Global interests have marked both Mark’s and Becky’s careers. Mark joined TU as a finance professor in 1979. In the 1980s, he co-coordinated the China-MidAmerica Trade Show in Tulsa, a joint venture between Chinese and Tulsa leaders. The Collins family temporarily relocated to Hong Kong after Mark received the opportunity to teach at Hong Kong University in 1989. They also participated in the first Asia-Pacific Finance Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.
During the 1990s, when Becky also taught in the Collins College of Business, the pair secured two important grants that helped launch the international business programs at TU. The goal of the grants was to develop market economics curriculum in Hungary through seminars and workshops. TU partnered with faculty at the University of Veszprem along with U.S. Fulbright award winners in Hungary and representatives of Budapest NGOs in a multifaceted initiative. The Collinses co-authored a dual-language, introductory accounting and finance book.
In 1995, Mark and Becky lived for six months in Auckland, New Zealand, where both had academic appointments at the University of Auckland. In 2008, Mark received a six-month Fulbright visiting scholar award to teach in the Eszterhazy Caroly College in Eger, Hungary.
When in Tulsa, the Collinses were active in Sister City partnerships and hosting international visitors. At various times they served in leadership roles in the Beihai, Zelenograd, and Amiens partnerships. Mark became a TGA member in 1992, joined the TGA Executive Committee in 2003 and became the board chair in 2006. He resigned from the board when Becky was named president and CEO in 2007, but remained a TGA member and donor. Becky held the position of president and CEO of Tulsa Global Alliance until she retired in June 2015. She plans to remain active in the organization as a host and volunteer, helping to organize and lead trips to Tulsa’s Sister Cities.
TGA is a nonprofit volunteer organization that connects people, companies, families, organizations and students from Tulsa and Oklahoma with the rest of the world.