Founding President Quinebaug Valley Community College
Robert Emil Miller, husband of Sylvia (McCorrison) Miller and son of the late Emil and Alice (Walsh) Miller. He was born in Guilford, CT on November 7, 1930 and spent his early years in Madison, CT. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at the University of Connecticut. He spent six years in the group insurance department of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. In 1953 he entered the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Western Area Command Headquarters in Kaiserslautern, Germany. In 1960 he joined the staff of the University of Connecticut as assistant to the Dean of Men and Foreign Student Advisor. In 1968 he joined the staff of the Connecticut Commission for Higher Education where he worked on accreditation of public and private institutions as well as the state scholarship and financial aid programs. He transferred to the Central Office of the Community Colleges in 1969 as associate academic officer. In 1971 the Board of Trustees of the community colleges assigned him as interim president of South Central Community College in New Haven (now Gateway Community College). In July of that year he was selected as founding president of the newly authorized Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson. In 1979 the State Board of Trustees appointed him interim president at Manchester Community College where he remained for a year. He was offered the permanent presidency, but elected to return to his post at QVCC, where he continued his quest for a permanent campus, which was completed and dedicated in 1984. In 1985 he was again asked to serve as an interim president, this time at Mohegan Community College in Norwich (now Three Rivers), returning after a year to QVCC. He retired in 1992 after serving for twenty-one years as QVCC’s first president. In 1996 he was asked by the Board of Trustees to come out of retirement for one year as interim president of Middlesex Community College in Middletown. Additionally, in November, 2012 he was asked to return to QVCC as interim president. Dr. Miller taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at UConn from 1970 until 2001. He served on a number of boards and organizations during his professional career. He was appointed by Governors Meskill, Grasso and O’Neill to three six-year terms on the New England Board of Higher Education, serving as chairman from 1981 to 1983. He was appointed again in 2005 by the Senate President Pro Tem for a two-year term. He was a member of the accrediting board of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges from 1985 to 1992. He was national president of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity for four years and chairman of the fraternity’s foundation for seven years. He served on the board of the CT Humanities Council from 1980 to 1984. He served since 1997 on the Board of Trustees of Nichols College. He was a communicant and lector at Our Lady of La Salette Church in Brooklyn and active on a number of committees of the Diocese of Norwich, including the Diocesan Pastoral Council, president of the board of the Catholic Foundation, and chairman of the Diocesan School Board. He was a vice-president of the board of Mount Saint John’s School for Boys in Deep River. He was invested in 2001 by the Archbishop of New York as a Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He participated in a number of organizations in northeastern CT including as a board member of Day Kimball Hospital and of the Killingly-Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. For many years he was the vice-chairman of Performing Arts of Northeast CT. He was a board member of the Norwich-Quinebaug Unit of the American Cancer Society, serving as president in 1980. He also served as a corporator and director of Jewett City Savings Bank, retiring as vice-chairman in 2003. His awards included the Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Connecticut, the State of Connecticut Managerial Award, the Civic Achievement Award and the Gold Key Award of the NE CT Chamber of Commerce. He was designated by the University of Texas Community College Leadership Study as one of the nation’s 50 outstanding presidents. His leisure time activities included painting, writing, reading, and golf. He and his wife traveled extensively throughout the United States and to many foreign countries. He and his family enjoyed an annual lake vacation in Maine for over fifty years.
In addition to Sylvia, his beloved wife of 64 years, he is survived by a son Robert and his wife Ann of Hampton, a daughter Anne Miller and her partner Eric of Pomfret, a son Paul and his partner Roberta of Bethlehem, CT, a daughter Crista Peters and her husband Peter of Woodstock, and a son Dr. Daniel Quentin and his wife Julie of Medford, MA. He leaves a brother, Edward Miller and his husband Chris Tabor, of Wallingford, thirteen grandchildren and one great granddaughter. He was predeceased by his brother, James Miller.
Relatives and Friends are invited to visit with Robert’s family from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday April 28, 2019 in the Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St. Putnam, Ct. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday April 29, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in St. James Church, 12 Franklin St. Danielson, CT followed by burial in Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Robert E. Miller Scholarship Fund, Quinebaug Valley Community College, Danielson, CT 06239. https://qvcc.edu/foundation-2/give-now/
*Devoted Husband to Sylvia McCorrison Miller fo 64 Years
*Founding President of Quinebaug Valley Community College
*Knight of the Order of Holy Sepulcher