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Former CCSU President Miller Passes Away

by Sarah Willson and Cindy Pena

Former Central Connecticut President Emeritus Jack Miller passed away early Monday morning last week, according to current President Dr. Zulma Toro.

“It is with a heavy heart that I let you know we have received word that President Emeritus Jack Miller passed away,” Toro said in an email sent out to students and faculty. “I know I speak for the Central Family when I say that our hearts are with Barbara [Miller’s wife], their children and grandchildren at this very difficult time.”

Miller served as president of CCSU for 11 years.

“This is very sad news for us,” Media Relations Officer Janice Palmer said. “He did a lot while he was the president here. His leadership had a huge impact on the success of CCSU.”

One of Miller’s largest legacies on CCSU was his “improvement in the university’s six-year graduation rate,” which rose from 40 percent to 57.3 percent within 1o years. Miller also helped create new academic buildings, a residence hall, an engineering laboratory and new athletic facilities, according to a statement from the university. Under Miller’s presidency, CCSU was also cited as a “Green College” in the Princeton Review after pledging to achieve “environmental sustainability.”

“Although I did not know Dr. Miller personally, I have a deep sense of appreciation for his unwavering leadership at Central, for all that he accomplished on behalf of his students, faculty, and staff, and for his enthusiastic devotion as a member of the Blue Devil family,” Toro said in a CCSU email statement. “His legacy will be realized and remembered for generations to come.”

Miller was recognized after winning national awards, such as the 2005 Excellence in Diversity Award from the Brothers of the Academy. Miller also co-authored a book known as “World Literacy: How Countries Rank and Why It Matters.”

According to the Student Government Association President Brendan Kruh, Miller could be described as “constantly seeking to ensure that education was affordable to students.”

SGA Resident Senator, James Angelopoulos, described Miller as always trying to better the school and the environment for students and faculty.
“He was always working trying to make sure that the school was in working condition,” Angelopoulos said. “He just retired and he deserves so much more time, he deserved to enjoy his retirement because he worked hard.”
Angelopoulos also credits Miller for much of the renovations on campus, such as the creation of Mid-Campus and the renovation of the Social Science Hall.
“Probably what was most important was what he did in the back scenes and behind the curtains,” Angelopoulos said. “He had an ability to budget for this school. If it wasn’t for Jack, my whole department [History Department] would be sitting in a cramped little space right now, but now we got the Social Science Hall.”

Miller leaves behind a wife, three children and four grandchildren.

A memorial service for Miller will be held on-campus sometime this summer, though specific details have not yet been released. Miller’s family released a statement saying that would like it to be held at CCSU because he “loved and where he served longest.”