Dr. Beverly Miller

Bev Miller

Beverly Miller; undated (Click thumbnail for larger image)


Dr. Beverly Miller was the ninth president of the College of Saint Benedict. She was the first lay woman president and served a five year term from 1974-1979. Under her administration, the school became more sophisticated in its administrative functioning and its educational goals as well as developed a national reputation.

Dr. Miller had a profound love for learning. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1945 with degrees in Chemistry and Biology. Dr. Miller attended Case Western and Michigan State University for graduate school, graduating in 1957 from MSU with a Masters in Biology and Education. In 1967, she graduated from the University of Toledo with a doctorate in Higher Education Curriculum and Consolidated Science. Dr. Miller also holds minors in higher education administration, fundamentals of education, and statistics and is fluent in French and German.

Along with her profound love for learning, Dr. Miller had a strong desire to share her learning with others. After twelve years as the medical chemist at the University Hospital in Cleveland, Dr. Miller taught at Resurrection High School, Okemos High School, and the Mercy School of Nursing, all in Lasing Michigan. In 1958 Dr. Miller taught biology and chemistry at Mary Manse College in Toledo; she was named dean of the graduate division, chairman of the education department, and vice president of that college in 1968. From 1971-1974, Dr. Miller served as the academic dean at Salve Regina College (now Salve Regina University).

Prior to the beginning of Miller’s term as president of the CSB in July 1974, the CSB Board of Trustees were making plans for the long term growth and development of the college. In March 1974, the CSB Board of Trustees approved a college mission statement that solidified the identity and values of the institution:

“The College of Saint Benedict is an academic community for undergraduate women. It maintains close cooperation with Saint John’s University, a College for men. We are committed to providing an educational content and process in an environment that fosters liberal, Christian, Catholic education in a Benedictine setting.”

In addition, the CSB Board of Trustees approved detailed plans for furthering the progress and advancement of the college titled Directions for the Future in June 1974.

President Miller wholeheartedly began implementing the plans that the CSB Board of Trustees and her predecessor, Dr. Idzerda, had made . Miller continued the cooperative relationship with SJU and furthered the growth of CSB. To serve the increasing student body, a student center and the East Apartments were added to CSB’s campus. Miller helped the CSB Board of Trustees revise a college handbook that ultimately became three separate handbooks, one each for administrators, faculty, and trustees. The Nursing Department was accredited by the National League of Nursing. Over the course of Miller’s term CSB became more sophisticated in its educational and administrative operations. CSB had changed its cooperate structure, its graduation requirements were adjusted to include a competence-based general education core, and it formally established a Bahamian extension program. CSB was starting to have a positive national reputation; CSB was invited to be represented at a national conference sponsored by the Fund for the Improvement of Higher Education. In a survey of the 30 participants of the conference, CSB was chosen as one of four colleges that were thought to be a most vital college. Miller’s five-year term as CSB president ended in July 1979.

For more on Beverly Miller:

 Special thanks to Megan Girgen ’13 and Meghan Flannery ’15 for drafting this text.