+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.