Wofford Terrier

Col. (Ret.) Joe Miller '31

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Joe Miller and wifeKnown by many in the Wofford community as the college’s most fervent Terrier Club phonathon caller, Col. (Ret.) Joe Miller ’32 died June 22, 2005 in Spartanburg. Before his death, however, Miller ensured that Wofford would receive the maximum benefit from his assets.

According to Smith Patterson ’67, director of gift planning at Wofford at the time, Miller named Wofford as owner and beneficiary of several paid up insurance policies dating back to his military and civil service years. He also named Wofford beneficiary of his retirement annuities as well as the joint owner of his bank certificates with right of survivorship.

“Joe is a wonderful example of an alumnus who loved his alma mater, wanted it to continue to excel, and who structured his estate for the benefit of his scholarship fund and its student recipients,” says Patterson.

After graduating from Wofford, Miller worked for the US government for more than 40 years, 28 of which were spent in the US Army. A World War II and Korean War veteran, he received numerous honors for both military and civilian service including the Commander’s Award for Exceptional Service, a commendation ribbon and three oak leaf clusters. A longtime member of Bethel United Methodist Church where he served in many leadership positions, Miller had 26 years of perfect attendance as a member of the Spartanburg Lions Club. He was named “Lion of the Year” for 1995-96.
Miller’s support of Wofford was legendary.

“Over the years, Joe was a fixture at our annual Terrier Club phonathons,” said Terri Lewitt, associate director of athletics. “A good number of Terrier Club supporters have personally received a phone call from him and experienced first hand how persistent he could be in his efforts to raise money on behalf of Wofford’s student-athletes.”

In 1995, Miller started the Joseph B. and Wilma K. Miller Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of his wife of nearly 60 years, Wilma Kennett Miller, who died in 1993. The Miller’s endowed scholarship fund now exceeds $780,000.

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