Meet Our Donors - Bob Collie ’94 and Brandon Murphy
Bob Collie ’94 joined Episcopal as a new junior from Houston, Texas. During his sophomore year at home, he started questioning the path many of his hometown peers followed. As he visited boarding schools scattered across the northeast, it was ultimately Episcopal that “felt most like home” to him. The proximity to Washington, D.C., the ease of travel to and from Houston, and the beauty of the campus itself made Episcopal his top choice.
When he arrived on campus in the fall of 1992, Collie was assigned to a room on the first floor of Berkeley Dormitory with two roommates. “My mom’s reaction to how the room looked was not good,” he laughed, as the new triple was originally designed as a double. (He ended up in a different room shortly after that.) It was that moment that Collie returned to as he served as chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee on Episcopal’s Board of Trustees. Since that first day on campus, he has remained passionate about taking care of the School’s campus and facilities so that each student, faculty, and staff member can have the best experience possible, much like he did.
“Episcopal was a big deal to me,” Collie remembers fondly. “It really created a shared experience that you just can’t get in a day school.” Despite being at his day school for ten years and Episcopal for only two, Collie says his EHS friendships have continued to thrive throughout his adult life, thanks to such a unique experience living and learning together. While at Episcopal, he continued to lean into his love for technology, running a computer consulting business from the pay phone in Berkeley and lending his expertise to the Computer Studies department as a part-time assistant, work that would lead to his longtime career in tech.
An early donor to Courage: The Campaign for Episcopal, Collie also served on the Advisory Council from 2001-03 and 2004-06. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2017 and has served as an integral member of the Finance Committee and chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee. (See his departing trustee remarks on page 32 to hear about his experience firsthand.) In 2017, Collie used his expertise from his career in tech to serve on the Technology Task Force, which made significant investments in our campus systems and networking under his leadership. Collie has also been a regional event host and a Reunion volunteer, embodying the myriad ways our alumni support the School.
Collie’s work on the Board was led by one important question: “What can we do to improve student life?” Throughout his tenure, he highlighted the importance of an endowed fund for capital renewal to support the ongoing maintenance of our facilities. “We shouldn’t constantly have to raise money just to maintain our campus,” according to the former trustee. As the two new dormitories opened to great success in December 2022, Collie noted that we must continue to focus on ensuring that each dorm, along with the rest of our campus buildings, offers great experiences for all students — not just the new ones. Our two new dorms allow EHS to improve the student-to-on-dorm faculty ratio in all ten dormitories and make needed renovations to the rest of the buildings to continue improving the residential life experience for all.
Collie and his husband, Brandon Murphy, are new members of Episcopal’s Bell Society by including a Courage Campaign gift in their will. Having seen the impact that planned giving made on key decisions during his time on the Board, Collie better understood how early (or mid) life bequests to EHS could make an outsized impact. “This campus will live longer than all of us,” he says. “And contributions through the Bell Society program allow us to endow that ongoing experience that we got to have here.”