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Randall Miller '71

Randall '71 and Susan Miller.

Randall '71 and Susan Miller.

Donor Profile

Tell us a little about your career.

I started working as a college administrator at the University of Alaska in 1975, following four years of active duty as an Army officer, thanks to ROTC at Dickinson.

I served seven years as a college president, but the richest and most meaningful part of my career has been the past 11 years as a higher-education consultant. Serving as the senior consultant to the chancellor at the place where I had been executive vice chancellor and president of two campuses of a multicampus district, I have the unique opportunity to influence collegewide issues involving the future direction of the college. That role requires knowing how to weigh in on topics ranging from new instructional programs to college website redesign to representing the chancellor at statewide meetings. 

Perhaps the most meaningful experience I have is teaching leadership courses to midlevel managers. That helps develop the college’s bench strength and also raises the bar in terms of understanding leadership principles across the college. While this practice has been more challenging with COVID, we continue to have meaningful interactions virtually.

How has Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education helped you?

The thoughts that come to mind on this topic are how integral my liberal-arts education has been to defining who I am. I enjoy art, theatre, music, literature, history, critical thinking and international travel. I have learned the importance of lifelong learning and how the desire to learn enriches my life and the lives of those around me. Consequently, my international travel is all about exploring art, history, culture, food and religion, and it is an endless learning process.

What inspired your gift to Dickinson?

My junior year in Bologna, Italy, changed my life and helped me to develop an international perspective. That experience was so transformational for me that I have designated my gift to support global study to help today's Dickinson students enjoy a similar opportunity. 

Why do you think it's important to give back to Dickinson? 

I have worked in higher education most of my career, so I know the challenges colleges and universities are facing to provide a high-quality educational experience. I have determined that the students who attend Dickinson should have the best opportunity to be successful. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at Dickinson?

My best memories are from living and learning in Italy and traveling to 14 countries with my classmates during my junior year. Dickinson provided that opportunity, and I will be forever grateful. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

My wife and I spend a lot of time experiencing the arts: theatre, concerts and art galleries. I have always enjoyed football, baseball, golf and swimming. Now I participate in lap swimming for fitness, and I speed walk almost every day. We travel internationally whenever possible. I also read extensively: newspapers, journals, biographies, and books on history and leadership.

What advice would you give to today’s students?

My advice is to read, read, read constantly and to choose a career that you are passionate about and where you can make a difference in other people’s lives. Another major piece of advice is to develop good relationships throughout life, because success in life is all about relationships. My final advice is to do your very best to choose a wonderful life partner. It makes all the difference!

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Published November 9, 2021