Pat Miller ‘synonymous’ with Lectures Program

Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost, speaks about Pat Miller, director of the Lectures Program, during the 60th anniversary celebration of the Lectures Program in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union on Aug. 30.

Katlyn Campbell

The Lectures Program held a 60th anniversary celebration in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union Wednesday.

The celebration honored Pat Miller, director of the Lectures Program, who has dedicated her work to bringing renowned speakers to Iowa State for the past 36 years.

“[Miller] has provided students at this university with experiences that have been among the most important of their college careers and their most unforgettable,” said Steve Sullivan of the National Affairs Series. “It is also not an exaggeration to say that she has been one of the most significant advocates for students in the history of this university,” Sullivan said.

Benjamin Allen, Iowa State Interim President, attended the celebration to speak on Miller’s work within the Lectures Program.

“When I think of the lectures program I think of Pat Miller,” Allen said.

As the backbone of the Lectures Program, Miller has had her hand in bringing a wide variety of speakers to campus for the students of Iowa State and the Ames community.

The Lectures Program allows for attendees to listen and learn from a diverse set of speakers throughout the academic year.

“It is in this way that the Lectures Program not only augments learning at Iowa State but also truly plays a vital role in creating a diverse implicit campus,” Allen said.

The lectures held at Iowa State are not only meant to amass students for entertainment, they are for challenging the beliefs of students in the interest of them learning and growing from these speakers.

Miller and her team’s passion for assembling these lectures positively enhances the Iowa State campus, said Allen.

“The Lecture Program is a crown jewel of the Iowa State experience,” said Allen.

It is all made possible by a collaboration between Student Government and a number of student organizations and committees.

“The collaboration of the Lectures Program is another one of its important hallmarks. Our Committee on Lectures does a fantastic job of designing the program and executing it in what often times is a very changing and dynamic embarkment,” said Jonathan Wickert, senior vice president and provost.

The collaboration amongst the Lectures Program, Committee on Lectures, World Affairs Series and National Affairs Series has allowed for the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to visit Iowa State in the 1960s and Bill Nye in the 2000s.

Around the country there is no other program that offers the richness, breadth and reach that the Lectures Program does here at Iowa State, said Wickert.

As a surprise for Miller it was announced by Liz Beck, retired member of the Committee on Lectures, that a ‘Patricia Miller lectures fund’ was set up over the summer with the assistance of the Office of the Provost and the ISU Foundation.

After reaching out to 600 of Miller’s former students, faculty and committee members all the way back from 1982 the fund has been able to achieve $25,000 thus far.

“[Miller] has proven herself a very skilled negotiator of contracts, a talented corraler of crowds and a general but determined husher of babies and children. Just as important she knows where all the chairs are,” Sullivan said. “When you meet Pat you’re not just meeting a person. You’re entering a galaxy. I call it the Miller Way.”