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Peggy Gordon (Elliott) Miller (1998-2006)

Peggy Gordon (Elliott) Miller

Peggy Gordon (Elliott) Miller became the 18th President of South Dakota State University on Jan. 1, 1998, by appointment of the South Dakota Board of Regents. She came to Brookings from Washington, D.C. where she was a senior fellow and acting vice-president for Academic and International Programs at the American Association of State College and Universities.

A native of Kentucky, Miller earned a bachelor's degree in English from Transylvania College in 1959, a master's degree in English and secondary education from Northwestern University in 1964, and a doctorate in secondary education from Indiana University in 1975.

After teaching high school English, she joined the Indiana University Northwest faculty in 1965 as an English instructor and rose through the ranks to Chancellor. Miller left Indiana to become president of the University of Akron where she also held the Harrington Distinguished Chair in Education. She moved from Ohio to the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C. where she was a senior fellow and acting vice president for Academic and International Programs for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

In Dec. 2005, Miller announced her plans to retire from the SDState presidency at the end of the calendar year 2006. By the time of her retirement the university would have finished its 125th anniversary year and the second phase of the Lead Forward agenda would be underway.

Peggy Gordon (Elliott) Miller
President Miller during a Hobo Day Parade

During her tenure as president new buildings were constructed such as the Performing Arts Center and Caldwell Hall. Remodeling projects were also undertaken, including the University Student Union and Crothers Engineering Hall with plans for a remodeling project of Shepard Hall. Plans for a wellness center, an equestrian practice facility and a research park were also underway.

It was also during Miller's tenure that the university began the Jackrabbit Guarantee scholarship, new Ph.D and research programs, the Centers of Excellence and the Vanguard Center. The most significant initiative was the move to Division I athletics. It is through this move that Miller envisioned national exposure that would encourage out-of-state students to the university.

Miller is the mother of two children, Scott Vandling Elliott III and Anne Gordon Elliott. In 2001 Peggy Gordon Elliot married Robert Lawrence Miller.