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Gary Collison Edit Profile

educator , writer

Gary Collison was a professor of English and writer, who wrote a number of articles for books and periodicals including The Transcendentalists: A Review of Research and Criticism, American Literary Magazines: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries etc.


Collison was born on January 17, 1947 in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, United States. He was the son of Frederick G. and Dorothy W. Collison.


Collison was educated at Lewistown High School. In 1968 he got Bachelor of Arts degree at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States. Gary obtained Master of Arts degree in 1971 at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, United States. Eight years later, Collison attained Doctor of Philosophy degree at Pennsylvania State University.


Gary started his career as an associate professor of English in 1975 at Pennsylvania State University. In 1984 he started to serve as the chair of special session on American transcendentalism at Northeast Modern Language Association and held the post till 1986. Moreover, during the period from 1984 to 1985 Collison served as a secretary. Two years later, in 1987, Collison worked as a screening panelist of creative writing at Governor’s School for the Arts in New York, United States. He held this position till 1993.

In 1990 the writer served as a chair of special session on New England transcendentalism and society at Modern Language Association in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Four years later Gary started to work as a reviewer of manuscripts at Northeastern University Press in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. In 1995 he was promoted to the chair of "Emerson in Recent Criticism" at American Literature Association annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1996 Gary Collison was a reviewer of paper proposals and panel chair of "American Transcendentalists and John Brown" at Pennsylvania State University in Mont Alto, Pennsylvania, United States. Gary also reviewed grant proposals and appeared as a guest on radio and television programs.

Also, Collison worked on "Ralph Waldo Emerson and Abolition" article, scheduled to appear in the Oxford University Press book - Historical Guide to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

He has written a number of articles for books and periodicals. Many of the articles concern philosophy and religion, two topics Collison also covered in a number of conferences and symposia. In particular, Collison deals extensively with transcendentalism, a philosophy that emphasizes spiritual matters instead of material ones.


  • Gary initiated a program to recognize students for their community service, which is now a part of the campus' annual awards program. Throughout his career, Collison received numerous research grants and incorporated his research interests into classroom experiences for students.

    In 1983 National Endowment for the Humanities presented the fellowship to Gary. Three years later, in 1986, Canadian Embassy awarded him with a grant. In 1992 he also attained a grant from Quebec government.


Collison is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, United States.


Gary Collison was a member of the following associations: American Culture Association, American Literature Association, American Studies Association, Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, Association for Gravestone Studies, Southern Historical Association and Thoreau Society.

  • He was an advisory board member of the society.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson Society , United States



  • Other Interests



Gary married Linda Travis in 1969. The couple had two children: Megan Collison Primavera and Evan.

Frederick G. Collison

Dorothy W. Collison

Megan Collison Primavera


Linda Travis