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The Journal Gazette

  • The Millers Courtesy photo

Thursday, May 31, 2018 10:40 am

Verbatim: $300,000 inheritance sparks student research fund at Manchester May 31, 2018

Ed and Martha Showalter Miller have given $300,000 to establish the Donald B. Miller Student Research Fund at Manchester University.

"We couldn't think of a better way to use the money from his estate than to establish this research fund in his honor," Ed Miller said of his late brother. "We are giving this as seed money, hoping that others looking to make a difference will also contribute."

The fund will support undergraduate research by students majoring in chemistry or biology-chemistry.

Don Miller graduated from Manchester in 1952. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1957; and his professional career as a research chemist included industrial and academic positions.

"Ed and Martha Miller have connected with Manchester students in many ways through the years, and this endowment is yet another example of their steadfast and generous support of the University and its mission," said Mark Huntington, dean for natural and health sciences at Manchester.

"We are grateful for their exceptional generosity," he said. "As the importance of undergraduate student research rapidly grows, this endowment will continually provide for meaningful research experiences."

The Millers believe in learning by doing - experiential learning - and have been doing international good works and traveling to dozens of countries since the late 1950s.

Combined, the 1956 Manchester graduates taught at Manchester for 53 years, he in chemistry and she in home economics. Ed Miller launched the school's Medical Practicum, and Martha Miller founded the fair trade nonprofit One World Handcrafts in downtown North Manchester.

The Practicum has combined study abroad and service learning for hundreds of Manchester students. In it, students work alongside health care professionals to set up clinics in remote communities in Central America.

Jeffrey Osborne, professor of chemistry and program director of biology-chemistry at the University, now leads the Practicum.
"I am excited about the research opportunities that the gift provides for students," Osborne said, citing examples of possible research projects - such as pollutant biodegradation, electrochemical properties of soymilk carbon nanoparticles, color-changing dyes, effects of diabetes on pregnancy, atomic force microscopy, river water analysis, pharmacogenomics, and medicinal chemistry.

The Millers previously established another endowment, funded with a life insurance policy, to generate annual revenue for the Chemistry Department to purchase equipment and technology. Their gifts also helped create modern learning spaces in the Science Center and Academic Center, and provide an endowed scholarship that benefits students in international study.

To join them in supporting the Manchester mission of graduating people with "ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition," visit www.manchester.edu and click on Make a Gift, email giving@manchester.edu or call the Advancement Office at 260-982-5218.

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