By Raymond Pacia
Will Miller ’78 participated in his first official act Wednesday as the newest fellow of the Yale Corporation, the University’s highest decision-making body.
Yale alumni worldwide elected Miller last spring over Paul Steiger ’64, the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, to serve a six-year term on the Corporation. Miller and Steiger were nominated by the Association of Yale Alumni nominating committee and neither campaigned publicly for the post.
Miller, who said he had not considered running until approached by the AYA committee, said he does not have a particular agenda for his tenure on the Corporation, but hopes to use his experience in corporate and educational governance and finance to advise the University.
“I’m absolutely honored,” Miller said this week. “I think it’s a fabulous opportunity for me to try to do something for Yale and learn a lot at the same time.”
In his first act in the post, Miller attended a meeting in New York for the Corporation’s buildings and grounds committee. He will not meet with the full body of fellows until the Corporation meets later this month. In addition to the building and grounds committee, Miller will also serve on the Corporation’s finance, institutional policies, and investments committees.
Like virtually all Corporation members, Miller’s ties to Yale run deep. He has been a consistent donor to his alma mater, has served on the Yale investments committee for three four-year terms, and recently chaired a committee on the School of Architecture. Miller’s father, J. Irwin Miller ’31, also served on the Corporation during the 1970s.
“Will Miller will be an outstanding trustee,” Yale President Richard Levin said. “He’s got a great reputation.”
Miller is chairman and chief executive of Irwin Financial Corporation, a financial services firm based in Miller’s hometown of Columbus, Ind.
The Miller family has a long history of philanthropy in the small city, which is located near Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky. Miller chaired Columbus’ economic development board in the 1990s and currently heads a seven-year downtown revitalization plan. Miller has travelled as far Japan to woo businesses and investments to the town of 39,000.
“Without any doubt, he is very bright, insightful and mature beyond his years,” said Brooke Tuttle, the economic development board president.
Miller, who received his M.B.A. from Stanford University, is also a trustee at another of his alma maters, The Taft School, a college preparatory school in Watertown, Conn. He currently chairs the school’s governing board, but Taft Director of Development John Ormiston said he does not expect Miller to continue in that role as he assumes new responsibilities at Yale.