– For decades, the late Roger Milliken was a familiar sight on the Wofford campus, a figure whose visage reflected vigor and energy, commitment and passion. The college’s trustees felt that the best way to honor his memory was to commission a very special sculpture.
This new campus landmark has been installed in the “Great Oaks Hall” of the Roger Milliken Science Center and was dedicated at a special dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
“Roger Milliken provided over 50 years of unparalleled leadership to Wofford College,” Jerry Richardson ’59, founder and owner of the Carolina Panthers and Wofford trustee, says. “His emphasis on fiscal responsibility, the physical grounds, and the growth of the campus were the impetus for the numerous improvements made to the college and it is safe to say that Wofford would not enjoy the prestigious position in higher education it occupies today without Mr. Milliken.
“The land acquisition, beautification of the campus, and the high place Wofford holds among colleges and universities can be seen and measured, but his legacy stretches far beyond the visible. Behind the scenes he made contributions to the school that may never be fully appreciated in his strategic planning and moral support of the school.”
Richardson continues, “While not an avid sports fan in the beginning, Mr. Milliken was always a great advocate of the training camp at Wofford. In fact, he even played a role in the creation of the Carolina Panthers when he participated with me in one of the very first planning meetings with CEOs Hugh McColl of Bank of America, John Medlin of Wachovia Bank, Ed Crutchfield of First Union Bank, and Bill Lee of Duke Power. He came to be a loyal Panthers fan and also to embrace the importance of sports at Wofford. It is no surprise that Bank of America Stadium is carpeted throughout by product from Milliken Industries.
“Mr. Milliken’s legacy obviously stretches much farther than Wofford College, but Wofford’s legacy would not extend nearly as far as it does today without Roger Milliken,” Richardson says.
The sculptor of the bronze Milliken statue is Todd Andrews. Over the past 30 years, Andrews has become internationally renowned for his heroic art that on display around the world. The walls of his studio are decorated with inspirational messages; one in particular stands out: "Art is the smile of the human soul.”
In the Carolinas, Andrews is best known for the six large Panthers guarding the entrances to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.