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Eleanor Searle Whitney McCollum

January 1, 2019

1998 – Houston, Texas

Eleanor Searle Whitney McCollum was born in Ohio. She studied music at Florida Southern College and Columbia University and studied singing with private tutors and coaches. She holds an honorary doctorate in music. Mrs. McCollum had a successful career as a concert and oratorio soloist, singing and speaking in over 8,000 churches and at concerts, Presidential Prayer Breakfasts, Governors Breakfasts, and Mayors Breakfasts. She was soloist with The Air Force Band and is called “Christianity’s Auntie Mame.” In 1971, she wrote Invitation to Joy, telling how to claim God’s love and joy, and also a ten-page commentary for the Butterfly Edition of Good News for Modern Man for the American Bible Society. She has been on the board of ABS for over thirty-five years, a board member of the Salvation Army, the Hoving Home, Retina Research Foundation, Theatre Under The Stars, Travelers’ Aid and other worthwhile organizations. She is founding member of the National Society of Arts and Letters and has been a member for fifty-four years, continuing to give scholarships in music. She is also a member of the board of The Houston Grand Opera, which established The Eleanor McCollum Auditions and Scholarship Awards of which Renee Fleming and Denyce Graves have been past winners. Mrs. McCollum served the boards of Orbis International, the Flying Eye Hospital which gives sight to the blind and teaches ophthalmologists the latest techniques. She is on the Steering Committee of the Michael E. DeBakey Heart Center and the National Foundation of Paget’s Disease. Her late husband, Leonard F. McCollum, was President and CEO of Conoco, Chairman of the Board for Baylor College of Medicine and founder of a predecessor to Bank One and ORBIS. She has one son and one grandson. (Deceased 2002)