Dr. Keith Miller receives Education Spirit Award
KEYS TO THE FUTURE
by Stephanie Trotter
Dr. Keith Miller entwines his legacy with Greenville Technical College
“Clavis ad Futura… Keys to the Future.” Dr. Keith Miller repeats Greenville Technical College’s motto at every commencement ceremony. “Education in this case, and specifically Greenville Tech, is the key to a graduate’s future,” he explains.
Miller grew up on a Kansas farm, rising early to help milk 55 Holstein cows and conduct other chores across 1,500 acres of wheat. His parents didn’t hold high school degrees but were determined Miller and his siblings would. “My parents valued education,” he shares. “My goal was always to get a higher education. My first career was in healthcare. That’s what took me to a two-year college. I went into a radiology program.”
Little did he realize those first steps at Hutchinson Community College would set him on a path to lead one of the largest public two-year colleges in South Carolina. His healthcare career grew with continued studies in imaging and a biology degree. Miller then transitioned from student to instructor, clinic to classroom, as institutions asked him to teach. He wound up earning a doctorate in adult and continuing education from Kansas State University and made his way into administration.
After more than a decade as president of two different colleges in Illinois, Miller arrived on Greenville Tech’s campus in 2008. The 65-year-old views the Education Spirit Award as about the school’s success as much as his, and he holds the honor in high regard. “It’s more of a comprehensive award from the community as a whole, as opposed to an individual organization,” he discloses. “It makes it mean that much more.”
“More” is the perfect adjective to describe the region’s growing reliance on the college, which now serves roughly 19,000 students a year across five campuses and three centers. Over the years, as industry comes calling in the Upstate, Miller and Greenville Tech have taken lead seats at the table, identifying ways to build a knowledgeable workforce. The college has joined every high school in Greenville County to offer dual enrollment courses, providing a way for thousands of younger students to simultaneously earn college credits with their high school diploma. Tech now offers more than 100 curriculum programs and a new four-year degree.
Miller relishes leading these initiatives in the school’s name, serving as a bridge into the area and specific places of need. “It’s a passion,” he admits. “I’d like to see us continue to expand our programs. Greenville Tech is a community college, emphasis on community. The needs in the community drive what we do.”
UNLOCKING DR. MILLER
Miller is married with three children and four grandchildren. All live in the area and one daughter is in education in Spartanburg County.
Among his degrees, Miller holds a specialty certification from the University of Virginia Medical Center in Radiologic Special Procedures that includes angiography and computer axial tomography.
One of his favorite projects is Greenville Tech’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation (CMI), which opened in 2016. The 100,000-square-foot facility operates adjacent to CU-ICAR.
Miller has served as chairman of the board for the American Association of Community Colleges, which is the leading advocacy organization for 1,200 two-year colleges in the US, serving more than 13 million students.Back to News