The Distinguished Professor Emeritus hopes to again inspire other donors with his gift.
A committed benefactor recently made his second major donation to the SUNY Canton Foundation.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Richard W. Miller has given $50,000 in honor of his relationship with the College and SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy and his wife Dine Kennedy. The retired electrical engineering technology professor had already donated $1 million in 2003.
“We truly cannot thank Mr. Miller enough,” Kennedy said. “The time he spent as a faculty member, the students he helped educate, and the careers he helped launch are remarkable. His donations are made from the heart and we greatly appreciate his enthusiasm and loyalty to the College and its students. Dick is the living embodiment of the phrase ‘a lifetime of dedication.’ His love of all things SUNY Canton is truly evident through his lifetime of commitment.”
In 2003, the College named its then newest building the Richard W. Miller Campus Center in honor of his first donation. At the time, it was the College’s first million-dollar donation. Centennial Campaign Co-Chairs Ronald M. (class of 1959) and Blanche K. Woodcock (honorary alumna 2003) noted Miller’s donation inspired other donations from alumni and community members alike, and helped fuel the success of the recently concluded capital campaign.
Miller explained previously that the College is the third greatest love of his life, following after his wife Irene, who passed away in 2002, and his family. He has hopes that this most recent donation will serve as a call to action for alumni and friends of the College to continue their support.
“I’m proud that SUNY Canton has remained a part of my life after my retirement and that I’ve had a chance to cultivate a strong relationship with Dr. Kennedy and his wife Dine,” Miller said. “In addition to driving the growth of the College that I hold so dear, they’ve been caring and kind. I’m proud to call them my friends.”
Miller has been involved with SUNY Canton for more than half of the College’s existence. In 1976, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, in recognition of his ability to help students attain academic excellence, his mastery of teaching techniques, and his record of scholarship in his field. The prior year, he was named an Outstanding Educator in America. In 1982, he received the SUNY Canton College Council’s Distinguished Faculty Award. Miller is an esteemed advisor to the Alpha chapter of the Theta Gamma Fraternity, a post he has held since 1948. He remains an active member of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors and the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
“Dick and his wife Irene were among the first people to welcome our family to Canton,” said Dine Kennedy. “I recall so many wonderful evenings the four of us have spent together. I know that Dick’s gift is profoundly personal. He has deeply touched the emotions of the College community and Foundation members.”
Miller, who earned his bachelor’s of science from SUNY Oswego and his master’s of education from St. Lawrence University, worked at General Electric in Schenectady before coming to Canton in 1946.
“It is inspirational and emotional for the SUNY Canton Foundation to accept Mr. Miller’s gift to the College and Dr. Kennedy,” said Director of Alumni Relations Peggy S. Levato. “He is such a close member of our SUNY Canton family, and he recognizes that giving now is more important than ever before due to the economy. His legacy here will live forever.”
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