Former president Eldon Miller bequeaths nearly $1 million for scholarships

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One year after the passing of former West Virginia University at Parkersburg president, Eldon Miller, the college has learned of one final gift he left to continue his commitment to higher education. His trust, which has grown to nearly $1 million, will provide academic scholarships for students at WVU Parkersburg for years to come.

Miller asked that the scholarships be administered through the college’s foundation.

“For a community college president to leave this large of a gift is unprecedented,” said Senta Goudy, executive director for the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation. “Mr. Miller’s decision to include us in estate planning will have a tremendous impact on the futures of hundreds of students.”

Miller passed away May 31, 2013 at age 77. He was WVU Parkersburg’s longest-serving president from 1982 to 2000. He worked in higher education for more than 30 years and founded the Community Colleges of Appalachia Association.

Prior to working at WVU Parkersburg, Miller served as an academic dean at the Dallas Community College District, executive level administrator at the Community College of Denver, associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and director of the Higher Educational Management Institute at the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges in Washington, D.C.

Upon his retirement from the college in 2000 he said, “My 18-year association with WVU Parkersburg and the Wood County community has been one of the most significant parts of my career and life. I have immensely enjoyed being a part of this campus community and contributing to the institution’s evolving maturity.”

“We are so very grateful for this generous gift. Eldon loved this college so much and remained involved for more than a decade after he left,” said Dr. Marie Foster Gnage, president for WVU Parkersburg. “It is so inspiring to see this level of dedication to the mission of community colleges.”

In 2009, WVU Parkersburg constructed a student plaza on its main campus and named it the Miller Plaza. The plaza includes a clock tower and memory garden with named bricks to honor and remember those who have contributed to the college. Bricks are available for purchase through the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation office by calling 304-424-8340.


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