Herbert C. Miller
Challenge. In an editorial during Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday celebration in 1998, Professor Emeritus Herbert C. Miller, Ph.D.’67, encouraged leaders to “see beyond the attitudes, beliefs, and restrictions of our American culture.”
He continued, “They must also develop and display the courage and the leadership to challenge and to break out of the systems and traditions based on those cultural restrictions, and to work for the benefit of the entire community by fulfilling the ‘dream.’”
Miller inadvertently described himself with this statement. Throughout his distinguished career, he has been recognized and admired as exactly this type of leader.
Hired by Indiana University in 1960, Miller was IU’s first full-time African American faculty member. An expert on Russian culture, the former Soviet Union, and the Russian language, Miller taught on the IU Kokomo campus for more than four decades. In addition to his role as professor of international business and German, he also held numerous administrative positions, including assistant dean of academic affairs, acting chancellor, chief executive officer, dean of faculties, and special assistant to the chancellor. He received Beta Gamma Sigma’s Honoree Award in 2006 thanks to these achievements and his service in numerous civic and community organizations such as the Rotary Club of Kokomo, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Kokomo-Howard County Chamber of Commerce. Miller has also been awarded with an honorary doctorate from IU.
In May 2005, the City of Kokomo recognized Miller as a “hometown hero” and gave him a key to the city. Kokomo Mayor Matt McKillip noted Miller’s campus and civic involvement, saying that he “unleashed in many a sense of wonder about other cultures…and has played a vital role in educating and preparing many.” The same month, Miller was awarded an honorary degree from Ivy Tech State College. “His commitment to lifelong learning and raising cultural awareness is evident as he continues to create new opportunities for students,” Ivy Tech Kokomo Chancellor Steve Daily said.