Skip to main content

Local businessman receives honorary doctorate

Local businessman receives honorary doctorate

McNeese State University President Dr. Philip C. Williams (right) presented Joseph T. Miller Sr., a Lake Charles businessman, with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during McNeese's spring commencement ceremony Saturday, May 18, at Burton Coliseum.

(May 18, 2013) Joseph T. Miller Sr., a Lake Charles businessman and civic leader, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during McNeese State University's spring commencement ceremony today, Saturday, May 18, at Burton Coliseum.

Miller served as president of F. Miller and Sons Construction Co., a multimillion-dollar construction firm, for almost 50 years until 2006. He has also served as president for the State Highway and Heavy Associated General Contractors of America, board member and president of Louisiana Council of Associated General Contractors and director and president of the Lake Charles Associated General Contractors.

Miller served in the U.S. Navy and attended both Mississippi College and Duke University.

His service to the Southwest Louisiana community includes serving as director of First National Bank of Lake Charles and as president and member of the board of directors of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Association, the American Heart Association, United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Campfire USA and First United Methodist Church of Lake Charles.

Miller has received numerous awards for his community service including the Angel Award for Public Service with area youth by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana and Citizen of the Year by the Chamber Southwest Louisiana. He also coached South Lake Charles Little League Baseball for 40 years and was vice president of the Little League for 36 years. He currently is president of the board of directors at the Foreman-Reynaud Community Center, a member of Lake Charles Rotary Club, a volunteer at Abraham's Tent and a volunteer reader at the Head Start Program at J.D. Clifton Elementary School.

Miller has served on the McNeese Foundation Board of Directors since 1972. He has served as president and currently chairs the budget committee and serves on the investment committee. He has also received the Distinguished Service Award from the McNeese Foundation for his support of the university.

His generosity to McNeese includes gifts approaching $1 million. Miller and his late wife, Mary Joyce, have established and/or supported numerous endowed scholarships and professorships including the JP Morgan Chase Bank Professorship in Business and Professorship in Business Research, the Franklin L. and Laura Chavanne Miller Professorship in Science, the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society Professorship in Pre-Med Science, the McElveen Insurance Agency Professorship in Business, the Joe Tommy and Mary Joyce Miller Scholarship in Baseball, the Engineering Campaign, as well as gifts to the athletics department and several other university programs.

"There are truly no boundaries to his generosity and support of McNeese and it is an honor to recognize his vast contributions to McNeese State University," said McNeese President Philip C. Williams.