A night of music and food combined with a charity kickoff seems a fitting remembrance for Franklin Miller, who was both a beloved physics professor at Kenyon and the first United Way director in Knox County. On Saturday, Sept. 13, from 5-9 p.m., the Kenyon Inn will host Franklin Miller Day, a celebration similar to the Inn’s “parties on the patio” held throughout the summer. In addition, the festivities will mark the launch of the United Way campaign in Knox County.
“If there’s a role model for good works in your community, it was Franklin,” said Lisa Schott '80, managing director of the Philander Chase Corporation and chair of the Knox County United Way campaign. “He did so many different things. He was just somebody who was truly living the motto of United Way — ‘live united.’ ”
President Sean Decatur and Miller’s son, Franklin Miller III, will speak at the event. In addition, Schott will unveil the traditional United Way “thermometer” that tracks the progress of donations. Two years ago, for his 100th birthday, Miller asked for 100 donations to United Way. Last year, in his honor, 100 more donations were given, totaling $27,743. This year’s goal for United Way of Knox County is $1 million.
It is the first time the kickoff will take place on Kenyon’s campus. Kathryn Lake, director of board relations and presidential and community events, hopes the location will draw more students and faculty members. “We’re hoping this type of event will garner enough interest so that this will be something that we will do on an annual basis,” Lake said. “We’re hoping that folks from the Knox County community will come out to Gambier on a beautiful fall afternoon.”
By Madeleine Thompson ’15