back to news Jan. 25, 2022

Endowed professorship honors chemistry alumnus Hal Miller

Betty Miller, wife of the late alumnus Harold "Hal" Miller, has made a transformative gift in honor of her husband to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Hal Miller came to Ohio State from his home in Lima, Ohio, in 1945 to pursue an undergraduate degree in chemistry, which he achieved in three years. He completed his MS in chemistry in 1951 while serving as a research assistant with the American Petroleum Institute. After continued work with the institute and time served in the military service, he returned to Ohio State and fulfilled the requirements for a PhD in chemistry in 1959.

By his side throughout much of this time was his wife Betty (Treadway) Miller, who grew up in Columbus.

Hal always credited the excellent chemistry faculty members, like his thesis advisor Cecil Boord, with inspiring him and propelling him to a lifetime career as a senior research associate with ExxonMobil Research.

Throughout their lives together, Hal and Betty gave back to Ohio State through supporting numerous funds in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The Millers always intended to fund a professorship/chair in chemistry designated to a faculty member like the ones who inspired him most as a student — those devoted to excellence in teaching and research.

Hal passed away in 2015. This year, Betty fulfilled Hal’s wishes by establishing the Dr. Harold “Hal” Miller and Betty J. Miller Endowed Professorship in Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry with the hope that excellence in teaching will inspire future generations of students to pursue their dreams.

“It is with great joy that we celebrate the accomplishments of Hal and Betty Miller through this new professorship,” said Susan Olesik, dean of natural and mathematical science in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has a long history of instructional excellence. Many faculty members have been and are national leaders in instructional excellence. Through this professorship, the long-term prominence of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will be enhanced. I have had the privilege across the years in interacting with both Betty and Hal. Their commitment to the department has been absolute.”