April 6, 2015 – Six deans and thousands of faculty members and students later, Luddie M. Collins is still here, and at the age of 70, has no plans to retire soon.
Thirty-six years ago today, the mother of three young children finished up her clerical training at a downtown community college, headed to her first job interview, and was hired on the spot as a receptionist in the dean’s office of the UH Bates College of Law.
“It’s a blessing working here; it really is,” said Collins who has long since moved up as gatekeeper and executive secretary in the dean’s office where she handles travel requests, vouchers, and any number of other administrative duties. “I’m a people person. I enjoy working with people.”
She has seen changes over the years as Bates College of Law transformed into the Law Center: the school grew in size and reputation, the dean’s office moved from Krost Hall to BLB, and the students seem to be a whole lot younger than they were when she started.
Named after her mother’s youngest sister, Luddie was born in Madisonville, Texas, but the family moved when she was 4-years-old to Houston where she later attended Worthing High School.
Collins and her husband, Jefferson, a retired postal truck driver, have been married 50 years, raised their three children, and now enjoy six grandchildren. She and her husband share a love of all types of sports. She is a “very active member” of the Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in southeast Houston where she sings in the choir.
When the day comes to leave the Law Center, Collins hopes to convince her husband to travel more, perhaps another cruise to the Caribbean or Jamaica.
And, who among those six deans spanning the tenures of George Hardy to Leonard M. Baynes did Collins enjoy working for the most? “I liked them all,” Collins answered diplomatically. “I don’t have a real favorite because each one was different in their own way, and I got along well with all of them.
“I just love what I’m doing,” she said.