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Herbert A. Miller, Jr. Endowed Dean's Scholarship in Business

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When Valorie K. and Sean P. Waggoner began to think about giving back to the university, they knew it would be in Herbert A. Miller, Jr.’s name.

The Herbert A. Miller, Jr. Endowed Dean's Scholarship in Business was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System in 2012 to benefit The University of Texas McCombs School of Business. Gift funds were provided by Valorie and Sean Waggoner. The endowment honors Herbert A. Miller, Jr., a senior lecturer in the Department of Marketing.

Miller joined the McCombs School faculty in 1984 as an IBM Executive Faculty Fellow and assistant to the dean. After his fellowship ended, he stayed on with the school as a lecturer while remaining with IBM. In 1994, after a 21-year career with the company, Miller took an early retirement from IBM and began a dual appointment at the McCombs School as a senior lecturer and assistant dean for student affairs.

Miller has focused his research and teaching on sales, sales management, strategic marketing problems, marketing management, international marketing, competitive marketing strategies, customer service, and direct marketing. Speaking about his teaching style, Miller said, "I challenge the students to see themselves as marketers and brands. They have to see themselves as a product or a brand and then apply those marketing principles they learn in the classroom to their lives."

Valorie and Sean Waggoner and Herbert A. Miller, Jr.
Valorie and Sean Waggoner and Herbert A. Miller, Jr.

This approach made a lasting impression on Valorie and Sean Waggoner, who met Miller as students in his sales marketing class. "Herb’s teaching style and enthusiasm for his students had a great impact on both of us," says Sean. Since graduation, he and Valorie have remained close with Miller, who has a been a friend and mentor. 

"Herb Miller is an outstanding representative of The University of Texas at Austin. He embodies all of the qualities a college professor should have," Sean says. "He has a noticeable passion for his students, is a great model of generosity, and he approaches his job with a servant’s heart."

Miller says every single person who strives to be great must first learn how to serve. "Servant leadership is about building relationships with students and encouraging them. One of my favorite sayings is 'I’m being the best I can be and trying to improve on that.'"
Miller describes Sean in the same way. "Sean is so successful at what he does because he is extremely professional. He’s always kind and cordial and that speaks volumes for him."

Even with this mutual admiration, it was still a surprise for Miller to learn that the Waggoners would honor him in such a lasting way. "I was honored and humbled. I could never anticipate receiving a high honor like this, and I hope it means I have achieved my goal to touch my students in a positive way."

In 2014, The Alcalde named Miller among its “Texas 10,” an annual designation of influential UT teachers.

The Herbert A. Miller, Jr. Endowed Dean's Scholarship in Business will provide half of tuition and fees for four years to the recipient. To learn more about endowed undergraduate scholarships and their impact, please visit the McCombs Scholars Program website. 

Versions of this article originally appeared in The Alcalde and McCombsTODAY. Photo credit: The Alcalde.

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