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+IN MEMORIAM:CHARLES J. MILLER 1919-1997

byEd Van Kley, Calvin College


Dr. Charles J.Miller, a Calvin College professor of history emeritus

and deanfor academic administration emeritus, died February 3 in

Minneapolis, Minnesota.Miller, 77, had been hospitalized since before

Christmas when he suffereda stroke (three days after his 52nd wedding

anniversary) while visiting his daughter and her family.

A Grand Rapids native, whograduated in 1936 from Ottawa Hills

High School, Miller attended Wheaton College, graduatingmagna cum

laude in 1940. While working in Chicago after graduation, he began part-

time graduatestudies at Northwestern University and then studied there

full-time, earning a Ph.D. in history in 1947. For seven years after earning

his Ph.D., Miller taught at the American University in Beirut. In the fallof

1954 he began a career at Calvin College that lasted three decades.He was a

founding member of the Conference on Faith and History.

Miller was known asa superb teacher and a campus activist. In a

retirement tribute in the May 1984 Sparkthen-provost Peter deVos

penned these words: "Hissense of history coupled with his unusual

background and unique experiences, made for a lively andinteresting

classroom. Successful as he was as ateacher, however, he was never

content with that role alone. Indeed, healways seems to be where the

action is. Hewas Chimesmentor during some turbulent times in the

sixties, a member of the curriculumrevision committee which designed

the current curriculum, a member of the faculty reorganization committee

which forged the current organizational structure, and a moving force in

the Upward Bound program, thespecial Vietnamese program, and the

Academic Support program".

In additionto his teaching responsibilities, Miller also served

Calvin for a dozen years as dean for academic administration.A long-time

member of Calvin Christian ReformedChurch in Grand Rapids, Miller is

survived by his wife, Virginia, his two children and three grandchildren.

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