Devotion to Saint Mary’s helped define Giles Miller ’54, say those who knew him best. With a father, father-in-law, multiple uncles and two children as alumni and a group of Gaels among his closest friends, Miller, who passed away July 27, was part of a web of relationships that kept him tied to the school throughout his life.
Although he was always studying (even on the weekends) as a student, he was able to squeeze in stints as the baseball team equipment manager, a campus garbage collector and senior class president, remembered Vic Miloslavich ’54, his roommate of three years.
After graduating in chemistry, Miller earned an M.D. degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. He then became a U.S. Navy medical lieutenant and a cardiology fellow at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic before returning to San Francisco to establish a successful medical practice.
Miller’s interests were many, thanks to his liberal arts education. And a love of history compelled him and a friend to establish Sons of the Shakes, whose members, descendants of the 1906 San Francsico earthquake survivors, gather yearly on the hour it occurred. Among all the institutions with which he was affiliated, however, Saint Mary’s stood out.
“Saint Mary’s was a place he remembered throughout his life and continued to give back to for what he thought was an unparalleled education and a leg up to his future successes. He loved the college,” said son Giles Miller ’84.
Miller’s dedication to Saint Mary’s included donating generously to various building projects and endowment and scholarship funds, and serving as president of the Alumni Association, as well as 18 years on the Board of Regents. He was named Alumnus of the Year in 1994. And, as Brother Mel Anderson’s personal physician, according to the patient himself, perhaps one of Miller’s most notable accomplishments was scientifically verifying that the former College president does indeed “have a heart.”