BY JAMES HARPER
Hundreds packed Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church in Daytona Beach on Jan. 12 for the homegoing service of Dr. Jake Charles Miller, an educator and author who died Jan. 5 at Signature Healthcare in Ormond Beach. He was 83.
“Bethune-Cookman University community is mourning the death of Professor Emeritus Dr. Jake C. Miller, who served with distinction for more than 22 years in what is now the School of Social Sciences,” said Hiram Powell, Bethune-Cookman University’s Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost.
Miller retired from B-CU in 1993. He was instrumental in creating the major in history and the major in political science at Bethune-Cookman.
“His efforts to enhance the international studies program and create summer, study abroad programs for both students and faculty met with success as a result of the proposals he authored, many of which garnered major foundation funding,” Powell continued in a statement released from the university.
Local, national impact
Miller founded the model United Nations conference at Bethune-Cookman, which continues to be held annually and accommodates student participants from colleges and universities throughout the Southeast.
He was a founding member of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, a founding member of the Volusia County Chapter of the United Nations Association ¬ USA, a member of the Committee for Departmental Services of the American Political Science Association, a consultant for the Educational Testing Service, and a member of the Review Panel for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Miller received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bethune-Cookman in 1951, the Master of Arts from the University of Illinois, and a doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he began his teaching career at Stuart Training School.
In addition to being a faculty member at Bethune-Cookman for 22 years, Miller taught at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., for nine years.
Global interests; community supporter
His lifelong interest in international affairs is reflected in his travel, teaching and writing. He directed summer study programs to West Africa and the Caribbean; and conducted research in West Africa, Ethiopia and Haiti. He authored three scholarly books and published numerous articles and papers.
Through his writings and public speeches he argued the causes of the hungry, the homeless and refugees. His honors included the Ja Flo Davis Faculty Member of the Year Award at Bethune-Cookman, Faculty Excellence in Research Award, United Negro College Fund Distinguished Fellow and the Mary McLeod Bethune Legacy Award.
He was a member of Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church, and among other roles, served as chairman of the Ministry of Growth and Enrichment. He also was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and was a life member of the NAACP.
He was married to the late Nellie Carrol Miller for 53 years. He also was preceded in death by his youngest son, Warren.
He is survived by two sons: Charles L Miller of Jacksonville and Wayne C. Miller of Rockledge; one brother: Douglas A. Miller, Hobe Sound; and other relatives.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jake C. Miller Scholarship Fund c/o Office of Institutional Advancement, Bethune -Cookman University.