Bob Miller '59

Running the farm five miles west of Plymouth, there was no thought of continuing my education upon high school graduation. But a happenstance meeting with the Mission House College Registrar’s secretary found me a student there in the fall while continuing the farm operation. As that education was to evolve into a theological motif, I learned to look back and not call such “leadings” of the Spirit, “happenstance.”

What are my favorite campus memories? That would include the names of fellow students, professors and administrators in college and later seminary that were part of the directed venture that causes me to look back with gratitude today. As a commuter, my activities were limited.

The a cappella choir, its spring tours and the operettas in which I sang are fond memories. I was inspired by sound leadership that was part of that music program and also which caused me to decide on a major in biology.

My proudest moments since graduation have been in taking church situations and being given the guidance to offer visionary leadership. That varied in locations from extraordinary increase in participation to troubled callings where “success” was measured in bringing accord to what had been division. It was truly a joy for me to have all five of my children present at graduation for my Doctorate of Theology. A joy I would add here is that the youngest of those children and I took a road trip upon her college graduation. We touched the 48 connected states, Canada and Mexico in 77 days making 19,000 miles..... for me it was the trip of a lifetime.

All five of those children have made me proud in terms of who they have become. My professional life has taken me from churches in Indiana to Iowa to Illinois. Since retiring in 2003, I see my work in a family owned funeral business as a continuation of my ministry. There have been many community service projects over the years. The one I continue to maintain is as chaplain of the local police department which I have done for 14 years. I tell them it is time for a younger man but they value experience.

Obviously the Lakeland education impact on my life has been to take a boy off the farm and expand his skills and vision significantly. The “old” me had a pretty limited perspective of what the world offers and what a person can become. Lakeland helped widen that perspective and set the way for me to be able to realize that God had a vision in which I have been blessed to participate.

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