Alex Miller, Vice Provost for ARTS NC STATE, recently announced his plans to retire, effective July 1, 2014. Miller’s retirement comes at the end of 29 years of employment with North Carolina State University and 34 years of employment with the State of North Carolina.
Miller was hired in 1985 to serve as Director of the University Scholars Program, a role he served in for 28 years. In 1997, Miller was asked to also provide leadership for the visual and performing arts programs at NC State. In that role, working with the directors of the six arts programs (Center Stage, Crafts Center, Dance Program, Gregg Museum, Music Department, University Theatre) he created ARTS NC STATE in January 2000 to serve as a unifying umbrella organization for the university’s arts programs.
Miller also created FRIENDS of ARTS NC STATE (FANS), a support organization committed to raising funds and advocating for the arts programs. With the assistance of Vice Chancellor Emeritus Banks Talley, Miller recruited the first FANS Board of Advisors, whose financial support and advocacy quickly became critical to the growth and success of the new ARTS NC STATE organization.
To ensure the long-term financial success of the arts programs, Miller established the Arts Development office and worked with an outstanding team of professionals and private supporters to secure, to date, over $16 million in private funding for ARTS NC STATE.
In 1998 Miller, the FANS Board, and the ARTS NC STATE staff instituted the annual Arts Gala, now a major highlight of the year, to celebrate the arts on our campus. In 2000, Miller created the Bowers Medal of Arts Award to recognize individuals or organizations who have provided exceptional service to the arts at NC STATE.
During his tenure as Vice Provost, Miller provided leadership to renovate and expand two historic buildings on NC State’s campus through a combination of university and private funding. With the enthusiastic help of the FANS Board and the staff of ARTS NC STATE, he led the successful $16-million dollar project to completely renovate Thompson Hall to provide state-of-the art homes for the Crafts Center and University Theatre. Miller also proposed and secured the historic Chancellor’s Residence on Hillsborough Street to serve as the site of the future home of the new Gregg Museum. Construction on the $9.1-million Gregg project is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2015.
An important part of the legacy Miller leaves behind are the initiatives he and his team designed to deepen and expand the arts experiences available to NC State students:
The Arts Village, a living and learning residential community for students passionate about the arts, created in collaboration with University Housing in 2007; the Student Art Purchase project, started in 2004, providing an opportunity for students to sell their original artwork to ANCS to be displayed on the campus; the Creative Artist Award, begun in 2010 to encourage, recognize and then perform original student work in music, theatre and dance, and the companion Performing Artist Award, created to recognize outstanding student performers; the Arts Curricular Connections Guide, begun in 2004 as a tool designed to link ARTS NC STATE events to NC State faculty and their courses.
In announcing his resignation, Miller wrote: “I have been deeply fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my passions at NC state, both as Director of the University Scholars Program and as Vice Provost for ARTS NC STATE. I have worked with remarkably talented and dedicated colleagues, extraordinary, creative and generous-spirited students and wonderfully supportive alumni and arts supporters. My experiences over three decades on this campus have affirmed for me how very special NC State is, and it will continue to occupy an important place in my heart and in my life.”