Local businessman awarded honorary degree by McNeese

By Special to the American Press

Joseph T. Miller Sr., a Lake Charles businessman and civic leader, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at

McNeese State University’s spring commencement ceremony Saturday.

Miller served as president of F. Miller

and Sons Construction Co., a multimillion-dollar construction firm, for

almost 50

years until 2006. He has also served as president for the State

Highway and Heavy Associated General Contractors of America,

board member and president of Louisiana Council of Associated

General Contractors and director and president of the Lake Charles

Associated General Contractors.

Miller served in the U.S. Navy and attended both Mississippi College and Duke University.

His service to the Southwest Louisiana

community includes serving as director of First National Bank of Lake

Charles and as

president and member of the board of directors of Lake Charles

Memorial Hospital Association, the American Heart Association,

United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Campfire USA and First United

Methodist Church of Lake Charles.

Miller has received numerous awards for

his community service including the Angel Award for Public Service with

area youth

by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana and Citizen of the Year by

the Chamber Southwest Louisiana. He also coached South Lake

Charles Little League Baseball for 40 years and was vice president

of the Little League for 36 years. He currently is president

of the board of directors at the Foreman-Reynaud Community Center,

a member of Lake Charles Rotary Club, a volunteer at Abraham’s

Tent and a volunteer reader at the Head Start Program at J.D.

Clifton Elementary School.

Miller has served on the McNeese Foundation Board of Directors since 1972. He has served as president and currently chairs

the budget committee and serves on the investment committee. He has also received the Distinguished Service Award from the

McNeese Foundation for his support of the university.

His generosity to McNeese includes

gifts approaching $1 million. Miller and his late wife, Mary Joyce, have

established and

supported numerous endowed scholarships and professorships

including the JP Morgan Chase Bank professorship in business and

professorship in business research, the Franklin L. and Laura

Chavanne Miller professorship in Science, the Calcasieu Parish

Medical Society Professorship in Pre-Med Science, the McElveen

Insurance Agency professorship in business, the Joe Tommy and

Mary Joyce Miller scholarship in baseball, the Engineering

Campaign, as well as gifts to the athletics department and several

other university programs.

“There are truly no boundaries to his generosity and support of McNeese and it is an honor to recognize his vast contributions

to McNeese State University,” said McNeese President Philip C. Williams.