Jim and Janel Miller made their first gift to the university because it seemed like the right thing to do. A quarter of a century later, it still does.
In 2011, they were inducted as lifetime members of the university's Order of the May in recognition of their 25 consecutive years of giving.
"It's really nice to see how many people have been giving back for so many years," said Janel (E'80, '84). "There's a sense of pride in being part of the university's philanthropic community."
But for the Millers, it's more than just a sense of personal pride — it's also pride in the institution.
"Carnegie Mellon prepared us well for all of the things we've had a chance to do both professionally and personally, so it seems natural to give back," said Jim (E'77, '83, '95). "Carnegie Mellon produces people who are ready for industry. Ready for graduate school. Ready to make an impact on the world."
Since the day they stepped foot on campus, Carnegie Mellon has remained an important part of their lives. Jim is an associate research professor of chemical engineering and Janel is a part-time instructor in civil engineering department.
Still, their family legacy runs even deeper. The couple — who met on Janel's first day of class in 1976 — has two sons with CMU connections. Colin Miller works at Deeplocal, a CMU spin-off. Jeffrey Miller (E'10) is an alumnus who recently made his first gift to CMU.
Like his parents, Jeffrey is proud of his Carnegie Mellon education and values the opportunity he has to make a difference with his support.
"I've been watching my parents give back to CMU for years and I've come to understand that what is good for the university is good for its graduates — past, present and future," said Jeffrey. "I hope to give back as I am able, so that CMU can continue to attract talented students and strengthen its reputation."
The Millers hope future generations at Carnegie Mellon will continue to learn those same invaluable lessons. The legacy continues.
Related Link: Order of the May