Prominent patron’s legacy lives on through memories of his generosity, dedication, and charisma.
One of the most well-respected and generous SUNY Canton faculty members in College history has passed away.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus and longstanding Foundation Board Member Richard W. Miller died earlier this morning (Friday, January 6, 2012) at his West Main Street home in Canton. He was 93 years old.
“Dick’s passing saddens me greatly,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “In addition to being one of the most respected individuals at the College, he and his wife Irene were personal friends of my family. I’m certain many would join me in saying that their lives have been enriched through his friendship and ongoing dedication to the College and greater Canton Community.”
Mr. Miller began teaching at SUNY Canton (then known as the Agricultural and Technical Institute) on June 7, 1946. He was a professor and Department Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Technology Department. In 1975, he was named an Outstanding Educator in America and the year following he won the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1982, he received the SUNY Canton College Council’s Distinguished Faculty Award, and in 1990 the Council presented him with the Distinguished Citizen Award. He organized the SUNY Canton chapter of Tau Alpha Pi National Honor Society for Engineering Technology and was an esteemed advisor to the Alpha chapter of the Theta Gamma Fraternity. He retired in 1983.
“Dick was one of the most influential faculty members to ever teach at SUNY Canton,” Kennedy said. “He assisted countless generations of successful graduates during his career. After he retired, he created scholarships to benefit incoming students. His legacy will live on across the campus.”
In 2003, Mr. Miller became the first donor in College history to make a million dollar donation to the SUNY Canton Foundation. His unrestricted donation led the college to name the then newly constructed campus center in his honor.
“I have had three loves of my life: The first, my wife Irene; the second, my family; and the third, this College,” Mr. Miller said at the Richard W. Miller Campus Center Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
He followed his donation with an additional $50,000 gift to the College in honor of his longstanding friendship with the Kennedys in 2010. Combined with his annual scholarship, Mr. Miller donated more than $1.6 million to SUNY Canton.
“Mr. Miller’s profound impact on SUNY Canton can be seen from anywhere on campus,” said Director of Alumni and Development Peggy S. Levato. “His generosity allowed us to make immeasurable progress at the College. He gave his time and heart to this college and for that, we will forever be indebted to him.”
Many alumni and current students knew Mr. Miller through his frequent involvement in campus following his retirement. In the past year he was a guest of honor at the College’s Kingston Fireplace Dedication, Holiday Luncheon, Scholarship Luncheon, and Alumni Weekend Celebration, among others. He attended his 65th consecutive commencement ceremony in 2011.
Update (Monday, Jan 9): Calling hours are 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, January 12, at Lawrence Funeral Home, 21 Park St., Canton, with a service at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 13 at the First Presbyterian Church, 17 Park St., and a reception to follow at the Richard W. Miller Campus Center at SUNY Canton. A Masonic service will be held on Thursday 5:45 p.m. Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Richard’s name to the Canton Neighborhood Center, 5 West St., Canton Methodist Church Food Kitchen, or the Richard W. Miller Scholarship at SUNY Canton. Condolences may be sent to www.lawrencefuneralhome.org.
A complete obituary submitted my Mr. Miller’s family can be viewed at http://news.canton.edu/index.php/miller-obituary/
Please use the comments section below to share your memories and reflections.
Update (Saturday Jan. 7): SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill’s Statement on the Passing of Richard W. Miller
“Yesterday, SUNY Canton lost a great friend. Today, on behalf of the entire College Council, we mourn Dick’s passing and celebrate his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and many friends.”
“Dick was truly one of a kind. His contributions to SUNY Canton and the community cannot be measured in mere dollars. Teacher, mentor, friend, supporter, Dick was all these and much more. For more than six decades, Dick gave of his time, energy and money to ensuring SUNY Canton would continue to grow and flourish.”
“His dedication and fierce loyalty set a shining example for our campus and the greater North Country. While we will miss his presence at events, and his wise counsel and wit, we know that his legacy at SUNY Canton is enduring, which is just the way he planned it.”
Tags: Richard Miller
Posted in Alumni, College Foundation, Community, Faculty | 28 Comments »
More students and a fresh new look made 2011 a banner year of growth and innovation at SUNY Canton.
Approximately 6,092 students enrolled at SUNY Canton during the combined terms in 2011, according to SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy, including a record fall enrollment of nearly 4,000 students.
The 2011 total unduplicated headcount figure represents a 20 percent increase in the past two calendar years. In 2009, the College had a total combined enrollment of 5,103.
“We’ve grown our enrollment annually by offering in-demand majors taught by experienced and professional faculty who prepare students for their chosen careers.” Kennedy said. “Our supplementary semesters and online enrollments are growing rapidly alongside our traditional course offerings. We are reaching more students than ever before with our competitive hands-on programs and online courses.”
Among the semesters with the greatest growth were:
- Winterterm 2010-2011 had approximately 1,170 enrollments, up 46 percent from the previous year.
- Summer Session 2011 had approximately 1,430 enrollments, up 16 percent from the previous year.
- Fall 2011 semester had approximately 3,825 students, up almost 50 percent from Fall 2006, and up 75 percent from Fall 2000, breaking the College’s all-time enrollment high.
In addition to the new enrollment highpoints, the College grew in almost every way. The following are some the highlights from the 2011 calendar year.
SUNY Canton added bachelor’s degrees in veterinary technology and health and fitness promotion. The veterinary technology degree gives students in the two-year program more advanced options and has become one of the most popular new majors for incoming freshmen. Health and fitness promotion is an extension of the physical therapist assistant program and allows continuing study options for the program’s two-year graduates.
The new programs are continuing into 2012 and the College recently announced that it would be adding a Bachelor of Science in applied psychology for the Fall 2012 Semester.
SUNY Canton celebrated the completion of the new Grasse River Suites and the new Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center, nicknamed Roos House, during the fall 2011 semester. The College’s two newest buildings have dramatically enhanced the overall atmosphere of the campus and significantly aided the College’s overall growth.
- The $45 million Roos House added a new field house, ice rink, pool, fitness center, and office space for athletic and coaching staff. Between home games and student recreation, the building has become a hub of activity on campus.
- The $26 million Grasse River Suites offers upperclassmen an independent apartment-style living option on campus and is helping the College house more students than ever before. The newest residence hall was built without funding from New York State or its taxpayers.
The College is currently planning two additional residence halls to continue its overall physical expansion.
A New Look for canton.edu
SUNY Canton made significant design changes to its website, allowing for larger images and easier user navigation. In 2011, the website received more than 2.2 million visits and more than 5 million individual page views.
The largest growth in visits came from mobile devices. The college had more than 29,000 mobile visits in 2010, and more than 89,000 mobile visits in 2011.
Additionally, the website received visits from 191 countries, including Canada, Russia, China, India, England, South Korea, Germany and Japan.
To highlight the ongoing growth, the college updated its television commercials. Students highlight the most relevant additions and changes at the College, including new majors, new sports, and new buildings. The two new 30-second spots can be viewed on the College’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/cantonpr/.
Kangaroos Move Forward
The SUNY Canton Kangaroos began its NCAA exploratory year, the first step in a process the College hopes will eventually lead to provisional and full-fledged Division III membership, The College began offering women’s volleyball and men’s golf in the past year, and new varsity teams in men’s and women’s lacrosse will begin play this spring.
College starts in High School
SUNY Canton received a $150,000 grant from the New York State Education Department in order to start the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program on campus. The College also received a $200,000 grant from the State Education Department enabling them to work with Ogdensburg Free Academy, Massena High School and St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES as part of the Smart Scholars Early College High School program.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.
Tags: enrollment, high school, Joseph Kennedy, Roo's House, summer session, website, winterterm
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