Bob & Holly Miller

Building on Their Generosity

You don't have to look far to see the enormous impact that Holly and Bob Miller and their family business, R.E.M. Development of Williston, Vermont, have had on Champlain College. Thanks to their remarkable generosity of more than $8 million, the College has two facilities and several endowed funds that help position Champlain on the leading edge of 21st-century learning.

Bob & Holly MillerChamplain's Miller Information Commons, made possible by a substantial gift from the Millers and R.E.M. Development, integrates traditional library resources with advanced technologies, including online databases and scholarly resources, multimedia labs, wireless networking, personal computer banks, and electronic classrooms. The Miller Commons, which opened in 1998, won the 2012 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries.

The Millers also contributed $2.2 million to the College's Power of Three campaign, in part to support the creation of Champlain's first endowed chair to honor Champlain's sixth president, Roger H. Perry.

In 2011, the Millers continued their extraordinary service to the Champlain community with the construction of the Miller Center at Lakeside Campus. In addition to providing a high-tech home for many  Champlain departments, the facility houses the Continuing Professional Studies program, the Center for Professional & Executive Development, the Senator Patrick Leahy Center for Digital Investigation, and
the Emergent Media Center in 36,000 square feet. There's even a small rooftop solar farm to power the building's basic needs.

"We support Champlain College to help it move to ever higher levels of excellence and innovation," says Holly Miller, who was a Champlain trustee from 1992 to 2007 and board chairperson for two years.

The Miller Center Lakeside campus provides hundreds of parking spaces that meet the College's objective to dramatically reduce vehicular traffic on and near the main campus. And the building's location in  Burlington's South End has expanded the role Champlain has played in the city's annual South End Art Hop by supplying space for art exhibits and special events related to the Hop.

The Millers' many gifts to the College have enhanced the education of countless students. And they're also a vibrant testament to the family's belief that every young person deserves the opportunity to reach his or her full potential, a legacy that can be found in the couple's many other Vermont projects, from a community center in Bradford to a scholarship program for Burlington's inner city youth and the city's King Street Youth Center.

"As young people, Holly and I never had the means to get an education," says Bob Miller. "We were originally attracted to Champlain College because of its no-nonsense, career-focused education. The campus and programs have changed, but Holly and I have continued to support Champlain because it never loses sight of its mission."

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