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June 25, 2012

Family honors Marv Miller on DWU campus

DWU hosted a dedication ceremony on June 25 for a memorial bench to honor the late Marv Miller, long-time professor of religion. From left to right: Linda Mrnak, Millerís first wife, their son, Jeff Miller, and grandson, Cole, all of California.

MITCHELL — Friends, family and colleagues of Dr. Marv Miller gathered at Dakota Wesleyan University Monday to pay tribute.

Miller died on Dec. 13, 2010, after nearly 40 years of teaching at DWU. During that time, every bachelor’s degree graduate had taken a religion and philosophy class with Miller, a requirement for all four-year degrees.

His first wife, Linda Mrnak, and his children, Jeff Miller and Lisa Quadrato, all of California, gifted a bench in Miller’s memory, which sits along the main sidewalk through campus between Smith Hall and the Sherman Center. Mrnak, Jeff Miller and his son, Cole, were present Monday for the dedication ceremony which featured tributes by Jeff Miller, DWU President Bob Duffett and Dr. Joe Ditta, who taught English at DWU for 29 years and had an office across from Marv Miller’s. Ditta wrote a poem for his late friend and after reading it to the crowd of about 50 people, handed the poem to Miller’s family.

Jeff Miller commented that whenever he and his father spoke about retirement, his father would always remark, “maybe next year.” Jeff Miller said that it is a testament to the college that his father enjoyed his job so much that he stayed at DWU for 40 years.

During his tribute, Jeff Miller remarked on the monument his family erected to honor his father.

“The real monument is the one he created himself, the legacy,” he said referring to the thousands of students his father taught over the years and those he encouraged to enter seminary. “There’s a little of Marv Miller in a whole lot of people.” 

Miller began teaching at Dakota Wesleyan in 1971; he was professor of religion and philosophy. He developed and organized the annual Stark Lecture Series for the Mitchell community. He also played an instrumental role on numerous committees for the campus over the years.



 

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