Family Ties - The Millers support multiple scholarships

Author: written by Kristal Arnold
Family Ties
Scholarships provide an important and appreciated financial boost to students. There are cases, however, where the value of the scholarships runs substantially deeper.

The Charles A. Miller Civil Engineering Scholarship and the Anna Mae & Charles Miller EPICS (Engineering Projects In Community Service) Scholarship each show a deep affection for engineering, Purdue and its students.

“We believe if we can be an influence on any student and help them get a college education, the result will be positive,” says Charles Miller, a 1957 Purdue graduate in civil engineering.

“Our philosophy, you might say, is the same as the legendary coach, John Wooden,” adds Miller’s wife, Anna Mae. “‘Help someone who can never reciprocate.’ It’s a good feeling.”

The Millers also support Purdue athletics with the Charles A. and Anna Mae Miller Football Endowment. The current recipient is Kawann Short, a sophomore defensive tackle from East Chicago, Ind.

Miller used his degree to lead his late father’s business, Diamond Construction, a highway-paving contractor in Quincy, Ill., specializing in hot-mix asphalt. He is the first of three generations to have earned Purdue degrees in civil engineering. His son, Gregory, and grandson, Nick, followed in his footsteps. His two other children, Ann and Scott, also earned Purdue degrees.

Gregory assumed the reins of Diamond Construction in 2001 when Charles retired. He showed the depth of the family’s love for Purdue through a retirement gift to his father — endowing the Charles A. Miller Civil Engineering Scholarship.

“Purdue made me believe I was capable of finding those solutions,” Gregory says. “Purdue instilled confidence in myself that I am capable of finding those solutions. I’ve carried this confidence with me all my life.

“Purdue has one of the nation’s best civil engineering programs, and we want the program to continue to excel.”

The Millers are certainly a Purdue family, but the branches of the family tree extend beyond relatives through their scholarship support.

“Scholarships really help financially, but also emotionally,” says Elizabeth Stover, a civil engineering junior from Longmont, Colo. She received the Charles A. Miller Civil Engineering Scholarship. “It makes you feel like other people, even perfect strangers, believe in you.”

EPICS scholarship recipient Benjamin Ross, a senior from Bethel Park, Pa., was struck by the Millers’ continued involvement with Purdue.

“This really goes to show how great Purdue’s alumni network is, and how dedicated Purdue grads are to the continued excellence of their alma mater, its students and its reputation,” Ross says. “I am very thankful to the Millers and others who give back to the University.”