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2000 Recipients - Dr. William J. Collis

Ophthalmologist & Philanthropist, Founder of the Hellenic Ideals Program of the Bluegrass



College:  University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, B.S., 1957


Medical SchoolUniversity of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, M.D., 1961


Internship:  Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, Rotating, 1962


Medical Neurology Residency:

Cleveland Clinic, 1962-1963

National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 1963-1965


Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship:

Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, with David Cogan, M.D., 1965


Ophthalmology Residency:  Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, 1965-1968


Retinal Fellowship:

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, with Taylor R. Smith, M.D., 1968-1969


Fellowship Teaching Program:

            Director of Clinical Anterior Segment Ophthalmology Surgery, 1982-1997


Ophthalmic Surgical Experience:


            Greater than 20,000 ophthalmic cases


Medical Teaching Experience:


Clinical Instructor, Harvard medical School, October 1967 – June 1969

Instructor, Harvard Basic Science Course in Ophthalmology, 1966, 1967, 1968

Visiting Lecturer, University of Athens, Department of Ophthalmology, August 1972

Clinical Instructor, University of Kentucky, Division of Ophthalmology, 1970-1975

Member, Admissions Committee, Dean’s Office, University of Kentucky, School of Medicine, 1975-1977

Visiting Professor, Anterior Segment Teaching, ORBIS, Morocco, Africa, March 5-16, 1983

Director of Fellowship of Clinical Anterior Segment, Ophthalmic Surgery, 1982-1997

Clinical Professor, University of Kentucky, Division of Ophthalmology, 1988-





Pryor Outstanding Premedical Student, University of Kentucky, 1957

Phi Beta Kappa, 1957

Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, University of Louisville, 1961

Board Certification in Ophthalmology, 1970



Plato Award AHEPA, Buckeye District, 1992

National Council of Christians and Jews, Central Kentucky,  1993

Lexington Philharmonic, Benefactor Award, 1991

AHEPA Man of the Year, National Award, 2000

Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 2002

Classical Assoc. of ;the Middle West and South Service Award, 2003


Hospital Appointments:


            Prior, Resigned:

Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky

Good Samaritan Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky

Clark Regional Medical Center, Winchester, Kentucky

St. Clair Medical Center, Morehead, Kentucky

Kentucky River Medical Center, Jackson, Kentucky

Baptist Regional Medical Center, Corbin, Kentucky

                        Lexington Surgery Center, Lexington, Kentucky

                        St. Joseph Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky


Medical Organizations:


Kentucky Eye Institute, Founder and President

Fayette County Medical Association

Kentucky Medical Association

American Medical Association

Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary Alumni Association

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Neurology, Associate Member

Kelman Research Foundation

Member, Development Council, University of Kentucky

Consultant to Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicare

Member, Ophthalmic Anesthesia Society

Board Member, Kentucky Society to Prevent Blindness

Member, Commission for Handicapped Children, Associate Medical Staff

Member, Ophthalmic Outpatient Surgery Society )

Editorial Board Member, Ocular Surgery News

Editorial Board Member, Ophthalmic Management

Author, “The Bottom Line” Byline for Ocular Surgery News

Diplomate, American Academy of Ophthalmologists

Founder, Cataract Surgeons’ Club, Founded 1981 (1981-2001)

Chairman, Clinical Investigative Committee, YAG Laser (Cilco), Good Samaritan Hospital, 1983

Board Member, Ophthalmic Outpatient Surgery Society




Participant, Surgical Professor, ORBIS, Morocco, Africa, 1990

Lecturer in Ophthalmic Surgery, Johannesburg , South Africa, 1994

Provided free eye exams and spectacles to everyone in Domionus, Greece, (Father’s village, 1994) and Furna, Greece (Mother’s village, 1982)

Hellenic Ideals Program of the Bluegrass, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY, Founder, 1980, and President of the Board 2008 - Present

Philadelphia International Project, Executive Board, 2000 – 2002

            Kentucky Christmas Chorus Sponsor, 1993 – 2000


                        Cub Scout approx. 4 years

                        Boy Scout

                                    Approx. 5 years

                                    Eagle, God  and Country, Order of the Arrow Recipient

                                    Scout Camp Counselor, 3 years


Other  Boards:


            Cardinal Hill Hospital, Board Member (retired)

            Central Bank, Lexington, Kentucky, Advisors Board Member (retired)

            Lexington Philharmonic, Board Member (retired)



2000 Recipients - Mrs. Connie Collis

Co-founder of the Hellenic Ideals Program of the Bluegrass, Connie Collis has been the guiding force of the Program's musical, artistic and culinary endeavors.

Connie's diverse and numerous musical and artistic activities include serving for many years and in many positions on the boards of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra Women's Guild, the Kentucky Folk Art Center, and the Lexington Opera Society. Connie has also served for many years as a member of the National Society of Arts and Letters and as a Docent at the University of Kentucky.

Connie's special role as a mother, homemaker, and spouse is never understated. Connie is the mother of Todd Collis (married and living in Columbus, Ohio) and Adam Collis (married and living in Los Angeles, California). Her dedication to family is her most treasured passion.

From 1980 to 1995, Connie was a principal in the interior design firm of Ashland Interiors. For her unique understanding of and feeling for style and beauty, Connie designed some of the most beautiful and well known homes in the Bluegrass.

Connie received her B.A. degree in Theater Arts from George Washington University in 1964 and attended the University of Kentucky for one post-graduate year in 1979.

The stability and success of the Hellenic Ideals Program owes a great debt of gratitude to this creative, meticulous, and special member of our community.