As his presidency comes to an end, President Tim Miller was honored at a surprise reception Wednesday and was surrounded by a large crowd of faculty, staff and students.
Miller’s wife, Patsy Miller, helped get him to the surprise reception, which was held at Pogue Library.
Patsy told Miller he was going to be attending an executive meeting.
“I have always said to anyone that I have worked with that I don’t like surprises,” Miller said. “This was a pleasant surprise, though.”
Board of Regents members Phil Schooley, Renee Fister and Jeremiah Johnson congratulated Miller on a job well done and honored him with gifts, including framed photographs of campus.
Miller said the reception was very meaningful to him.
Miller was a professor for 47 years for Murray State and was a student at the University before becoming an educator.
He is the first alumnus of Murray State to serve as president.
“I love Murray State and the students, but I am a teacher,” he said. “My biggest joy in that has been to see students succeed.”
Board of Regents member Renee Fister said she would describe Miller’s presidency as informative, wise, inclusive and transparent.
“I think (Miller) has made a huge difference in the student population and with making a connection with students,” she said. “The love he feels for students is obvious in his speech and it is obvious in how he treats faculty and staff.”
Fister said Miller’s relationship with the Board of Regents has been progressive and informative.
“He has helped move us forward,” she said.
Miller said he has always wanted to do what is best for the University with whatever his role has been.
“I have always loved Murray State, so I want to do what is best for the University, whether it be sweeping floors or teaching classes. I certainly do not view myself as the president,” Miller said.
Miller said although he never expected to be president he is sad to see his presidency come to an end.
“I don’t know if I did a good job or not but I did the best that I could – I don’t have any regrets,” he said.
For Murray State’s future, Miller said it is important to maintain the momentum that the University has gained.
He said he thinks incoming President Robert Davies will do a good job keeping it going.
“I think Murray State is in good hands,” he said.
Jeremiah Johnson, former Student Government Association president, said Miller has been a transparent president and a friend to everyone.
“(Miller) has been very transparent with reaching ideas and working with the (Board of Regents) and students,” he said. “Students will come up to him with a question and he will and answer them; I love that.”
Johnson said Miller has been open with everyone and always has a smile on his face.
“I think the transparency that Miller has created a new culture on campus,” Johnson said. “The culture now on campus is now more transparent.”
Miller said he would tell students at Murray State to find their passion in life and find what brings them joy.
“Major in something that you really enjoy, not just something to get a job,” Miller said. “Find something that will be fulfilling to you for the rest of your life.
“You need to enjoy whatever you do with a passion, work hard and do the very best that you can and you will be successful.”
Story by Rebecca Walter, News Editor