After graduating from Washington and Lee in 1959, M. Daniel Miller III joined the cotton, cattle and soybean farm of his father, Max D. Miller Jr. '24. Although based in the small town of Marianna, Ark., the business took him all over the world. "Having traveled extensively for business and pleasure, it has become very apparent to me that the world is getting smaller and deals are taking place faster," said Miller, who became the first cotton advisory chairman to serve the American Farm Bureau. He also served as president and chairman of Cotton Council International, and twice as an advisor to the State Department on (UNCTAD) trade agreements held in Geneva, Switzerland. "Study abroad used to be mainly about learning a second language. Now, to be successful in a foreign-based business, students need to be able to understand not only the language, but to appreciate, comprehend and immerse themselves in the many facets of foreign culture as well."
In order to help Washington and Lee students broaden their horizons and have the same great academic experience he enjoyed, Miller has created a permanently endowed fund to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students planning to study abroad. The Millers, whose son Duncan L. Miller graduated in 1992, created the M. Daniel Miller III and Phoebe T. Miller Endowment, which focuses on China and Japan, because Miller believes "the world is going to open in the Far East, and those are, some of the most challenging cultures to understand."
As director of the Center for Global Learning, Laurent Boetsch '69 will administer the award. "Dan and Phoebe Miller's gift, which will provide opportunities for Washington and Lee students to enhance their on-campus
education with experiencesabroad in Asia, is a generous recognition of the importance of global learning for future generations. We are deeply grateful for the foresight of their investment in helping to ensure that W&L graduates will, as our mission promises, 'prepare students for engagement in a diverse and global society,' "said Boetsch. The fund may be used elsewhere, if it is not needed for study in Asia. "I want the entire Global Learning Program to succeed and am very pleased to see it progress," Miller added.
The M. Daniel Miller III and Phoebe T. Miller Endowment will be enhanced by The Max D. Miller III Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT), which he established in 2005. "I knew that at some point in time I would have resources beyond those necessary to leave to my family, and as W&L was part of my upbringing, I wanted to remember the University," Miller explained. "I was delighted to see so many of the Class of 1959 on the Dean's List for giving to W&L. I strongly believe in being an Annual Fund participant. There are a number of alumni who are quite wealthy-I am not one of those-but I am happy to share what I have to maintain the standards of education and the traditions of the University."