President's Office

Dr. Scott D. Miller
President of Virginia Wesleyan College

Scott Miller

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Dr. Scott D. Miller is one of the most experienced and prominent liberal arts college presidents in America, having led four colleges and universities for nearly a quarter of a century.  Recognized by numerous books and publications nationally for his transformative leadership style, he was identified in a 2004 book (“The Entrepreneurial College President”) as one of 17 most entrepreneurial presidents in American higher education.

In 2015, he became President of Virginia Wesleyan College, a highly regarded, national liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  Previously, Dr. Miller served as President at Bethany College in West Virginia (2007-15), Wesley College in Delaware (1997-2007) and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee (1991-97).

Born in the Philadelphia community of Ridley Park and growing up in the campus communities of Doylestown and Edinboro, he is the son of a public-school administrator. Dr. Miller has dedicated his career to the opportunities available through education.  An outspoken and passionate supporter of the residential, liberal arts college environment that offers students personalized pathways to life and career success, Dr. Miller is a respected national leader on the opportunities and viability of small, church-related colleges.

He earned his B.A. degree in communications from West Virginia Wesleyan College, worked as a journalist early in his career, and completed an M.A. from the University of Dayton. He earned an Ed.S. from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. from The Union Institute and University, becoming one of the nation’s youngest college presidents at Lincoln Memorial University. Dr. Miller, 56, brings to Virginia Wesleyan a lifetime of commitment to the values of a residential, liberal arts campus in a pluralistic society, with an emphasis on teaching, service, student-faculty engagement, and lifelong learning.

Dr. Miller has been featured in several books in recent years including “The Entrepreneurial College President”;  “The Small College Guide to Financial Health”; “Born, Not Made: The Entrepreneurial Personality”; and “The First 120 Days:  What a New College President Must Do to Succeed.”

In February 2015, he was one of 22 presidents of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada profiled in “#FollowTheLeader: Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEd CEOs.” In March 2015, he was named in a national study (by Roland H. King of PhairAdvantage Communications) as one of the “Top 14 Presidents Publishing Op-eds” in 2014.  Dr. Miller ranked third in the survey behind Dr. Michael Roth of Wesleyan University.

He was named President-emeritus at Wesley College in 2007, and the Wesley National Alumni Association initiated the Dr. Scott D. Miller Leadership Scholarships. He was also honored with the naming of the entire sports complex as the “Scott D. Miller Stadium.”  Scholarships in communications and leadership are also named in his honor at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Bethany College.

A highly sought presenter, mentor, and author on higher education topics including financial sustainability and presidential performance for national conferences and trade journals, Dr. Miller is a regular columnist for "The Huffington Post," "College Planning and Management," and "Enrollment Manager." He is the author of a widely distributed e-newsletter, "The President’s Letter," a daily blog, “Dialogue,” and a campus-wide morning message, “Nota Bene.”  He is the co-executive editor of "Presidential Perspectives," an online presidential thought series that has resulted in 10 books. He co-published three volumes of "President to President: Views on Technology in Higher Education."

He has written hundreds of articles and written or edited 13 books and seven monographs, most with his longtime co-author, Dr. Marylouise Fennell, a former college president and current senior counsel for the Washington, DC-based Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), of which Dr. Miller is a former board member and officer. In 2015, he concluded 15 years as chair of the acclaimed CIC New Presidents Program. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of Washington, DC-based Academic Search, Inc., and the technology consortium, Independent College Enterprise.

Prior to becoming a college president, he served Lincoln Memorial University as Executive Vice President (1988-91) and Vice President for Development (1984-88). He also served as Director of College Relations and Alumni Affairs at Rio Grande College (now University) in Ohio.

Known as an accomplished fundraiser, Dr. Miller has raised more than $180 million in his 24 years as a college president. During his career, he has earned a number of professional accolades including three Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) "Circle of Excellence Awards" for fundraising improvement and overall performance.

Dr. Miller has been married for 32 years to Annie Cook Miller, and they live in Ocean View.  They have two adult daughters.  Dr. Katie Miller Sanders, her husband Dr. Gary Sanders, and daughter Addison live in Stephens City, Virginia.  Ashlee and Justin Upp reside in Dover, Delaware.

The Millers are lifetime members of the United Methodist Church.

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