Bill Miller Indiana '62, Purdue '96
It might be impossible to find a Phi Gam volunteer alive today that has influenced the International Fraternity more than Bill Miller. To call Brother Miller the personification of the value of service is perhaps the biggest understatement possible. Brother Miller started service to Phi Gamma Delta at an early age when he was a member of the Indiana chapter back in the 1960s. Brother Miller served his chapter as pledge educator influencing the younger members of the chapter. Upon graduation Bill served Phi Gamma Delta as the forty-fifth field secretary from 1965-1967. After finishing his stint as a field secretary, Bill returned to his hometown of West Lafayette, Indiana.
It was at this time that Bill became involved with a core group of graduates in the Terre Haute area that wanted to start a chapter at Indiana State University. After the group was turned down at Indiana State, Bill was one of the graduates who refocused his efforts to start the colony at Rose Poly in the late 1960s.
The original founding group looked upon Bill as a favorite uncle and gave him the nickname of “Budweiser Bill” for one of the favorite beverages that were consumed during the hot summer days when the newly acquired Barhydt house was being transformed into the home we know today. Many brothers will chuckle when the Bill Miller Memorial Wall is mentioned, and a few know that when the new basement was built that particular artifact remained. Brother Miller was a tireless servant to the Rose Poly colony making at least one trip to Terre Haute from West Lafayette every week for the first couple years of the new group’s existence.
Bill’s service to Phi Gamma Delta did not stop with the Rho Phi chapter. Bill was also one of the main founder’s of the Indiana State chapter and took a special interest in one of Phi Gamma Delta’s soon-to-be brightest stars – the Kappa Deuteron chapter at the University of Georgia. All told, Bill has been involved in the chartering (or re-chartering) of nearly 35 Phi Gam chapters.
Let’s head back to Bill’s service to the International Fraternity. Where do we pick back up this story? Perhaps we could mention that Bill is considered one of the most outstanding Purple Legionnaires in the fraternity a position he has held at the Lambda Iota chapter at Purdue for nearly ten years. Purdue University honored Brother Miller as the top advisor on campus for all organizations at Purdue. Bill also served in the regional advisory role as a Section Chief where he worked with the chapters in the Purple Valley.
Who would have guessed in 1979 when Bill was appointed Ritualist for Phi Gamma Delta that he would go on to serve in that capacity longer than anyone in the fraternity’s 156 year history? Not only has he broken that mark, he continues to serve in that capacity today. Bill is known for long streaks. He has not missed an Ekklesia since 1964 attending 20 Ekklesia in a row. Bill has attended so many Academies that everyone has lost track, but it numbers at least 13 in a row. Bill also holds the distinction of having visited more chapters that perhaps all but one or two living brothers in the fraternity. Bill can count the number of chapters he has not visited on one hand.
The Rho Phi Chapter (and indeed the International Fraternity) is grateful for the service of Bill Miller. We are truly a better organization because of his influences.