Recently, Washington College re-dedicated the Miller Library on the college campus.
Often colleges dedicate and re-dedicate edifices on their campuses and use the name of a benefactor or past college president to identify the name of the structure.
Miller Library was originally built in 1971. Some of us alumni remember when the library was in Bunting Hall; and before that in the basement of William Smith Hall.
Clifton Miller was not of Eastern Shore origin. He was born in Montana and attended Stanford University, where he received his LLB degree in 1916. He was admitted into the California Bar Association in the same year.
With WW-1 raging, he served in the Army Air Corp in Europe. In 1920 Mr. Miller joined the investment industry, moved to New York City, and took a job with the firm of Dillon, Read and Company. This firm was founded by the late U. S. Secretary of Treasury, Douglas Dillon. In 1930 he became a partner in the firm of White, Weld and Company. He remained with this firm until he retired in 1935 and moved to Kent County.
Mr. Miller became a member of the Board of Visitors and Governors in 1951. He served as Chairman of the Board from 1961 to 1967. During his tenure as Board Chairman he would bring to fruition and successful conclusion the Heritage Campaign, which raised $12 million dollars for the college. Several campus facilities: the Miller Library, Hodson Hall, Cain Athletic Center, and the Gibson Fine Arts Building benefited from the money raised for the Heritage Fund, in which Mr. Miller was instrumental. Mr. Miller passed away in 1967.
The renovated Miller Library now enjoys many new components which will substantially enhance this academic epicenter of the college. One such component is the Washington College archives. The archival documents and artifacts are significant for research purposes and contain documents dating back to the early 18th century.
The library will contain new study spaces on the second floor, a new cafe and many infrastructure transformations, including a new geothermal system for climate control. Also, the renovation added an improved network for wireless internet connectivity, and new ceilings and floors throughout the library building. The new study spaces and the café will be most welcome by the student body. Mr. Miller would be proud.
There are many other buildings on the Washington College campus where the names bearing college leaders and patrons have grown misty and forgotten with the passage of time. Some of these include William Smith Hall, Minta Martin Hall, Bunting Hall, Reid Hall, Cain Athletic Center and Hodson Hall, to name a few.
The renovated Miller library is a welcome upgrade, in both form and function, for the Washington College campus. It fits well, looks well and will surely bolster its use along with campus pride.
The newly completed renovation calls attention to the needs of both the present and future. New names will appear on college facilities in the future. These names and the background of their patrons will become a part of college lore and history. It is important to recognize this contribution and perpetuate the memory of those who cared enough to give so much.
So, who was Minta Martin?