Dr. Miller Ritchie has had a stellar career in education, and Roanoke College is honored to have played a role in the life of this distinguished man. He writes that "although as a student I did not realize it, I experienced at this traditional small college the genesis of broadened understanding and commitment to improvement in inter-group relations that was to influence greatly the rest of my life."
Miller grew up in Churchville, Virginia, the son of a Lutheran pastor. At Roanoke College he became a student leader and served as president of the Student Body, president of the student YMCA, and member of the Honor Council. He graduated with honors in 1932 with a major in English and went on to receive his master's degree at the College of William & Mary, did advanced study at the University of Virginia and Columbia University, and earned his Doctor of Education at New York University.
He began his career as a high school English teacher in Waynesboro, Virginia, and as managing editor of the local newspaper. He returned to Roanoke College in 1936 and served in various capacities as Director of Admissions, Alumni Secretary and Director of Public Relations. It was during his work at Roanoke that he married Josephine Barnett, Class of 1941. Dr. Charlie Smith, Roanoke College president, mentor and friend, performed the wedding. Because of the war, he left the College in 1942 to join the Navy. After his military service, he joined the University of Miami faculty as professor in the School of Education where he was named to an Endowed Professorship in Human Relations and served as Head of the Department. In 1953, he became President of Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. And, in 1959, he was named President of Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, serving there until his retirement in 1970. Since then, he has served as professor of higher education at the University of Miami and as a special consultant to Marylhurst College in Oregon. He has also written a regular column on aging for the newspapers of the News-Times publications.
Roanoke College awarded Dr. Ritchie an honorary Doctor of Laws in 1957. In addition, he holds honorary degrees from four other colleges. He has been involved in many organizations and has served the State of Oregon as a member of the Governor's Committee on the Status of Women and as a member of a special committee which drafted a policy on aging for the state. He is the recipient of numerous citations for his work in inter-group and human relations and of many awards for his work in education. Dr. Ritchie is the author of a book on the college presidency, and he has written hundreds of articles on educational and human relations subjects.
Dr. Ritchie and his wife Josephine live in Hillsboro, Oregon. They have 3 children, John, Jo Ann and Elizabeth Jane, and 3 grandchildren. The Ritchie's are members of the Forest Grove United Church of Christ.
Dr. Miller Alfred Franklin Ritchie, for your outstanding life work and service in the field of education, we present you with the Roanoke College Medal.
Miller A.F. Ritchie received the Roanoke College Medal in 1999.