A group of family, faculty, staff, students and Foundation trustees gathered Feb. 21, to honor the work and legacy of the Miller Family and officially name the lab.
“The Miller Family contribution is more than just a donation.” said J. Adam Lowe, executive director of the Cleveland State Foundation. “It is funds that will help students develop their way to college readiness so they might begin progress toward their degrees.”
The Miller Family Math Endowment Fund was created in 2012 to support students who are participating in developmental math at the College. In the fall of 2008, Cleveland State redesigned the math program to improve the success of math students, especially that of remedial math students.
The program has received accolades nation-wide even garnering recognition from President Obama. Many colleges and universities have visited CSCC to see how the program and lab work. It also supports students who are required to increase math proficiency to college level before they can pursue the coursework for a degree.
The fund is named after Fred A. Miller Jr., Nancy Painter Miller, Drew Miller and Debra Miller. Fred was born in Bradley County, Nancy is from Polk County and both are graduates of Bradley High School. Their children, Drew and Debra Miller, are graduates of Cleveland High School and earned degrees in higher education from Cleveland State and Tennessee Technological University.
“Our family has always valued education, especially math,” said Debra Miller at the naming ceremony.
“My father was president of Miller Furniture Company, and it took an understanding of math to determine the amount of materials required with little waste. My mother handled all the accounting for the business and was active in our education starting in kindergarten, always pushing us to learn, earn a college degree and be successful in a career. Drew and I both pursued careers that required math.”
Fred, Nancy and Drew have passed away and the Math Lab naming seeks to honor their memory.
“I am thankful to the Miller Family and the commitment they have shown to our college,” stated Lowe. “They are an example of creating a legacy that influences the next generations. We are excited about the work this fund will do and those whom it will positively impact.”
The math redesign also helped reduce the costs associated with math instruction at the college. CSCC President Dr. Carl Hite asked internal auditing to review the math redesign to see how much of a cost savings came from the program.
The review indicated that there was a 10 percent reduction in the cost of delivering the program and it nearly cut the costs to students in half.
Currently, the Math Department has seen a 45 percent increase in enrollment, which includes a 34 percent increase in developmental math enrollment.