Naperville resident and Director of Athletics Jim Miller was named the 19th recipient of the Harold and Eva White First Citizen of the College Award during North Central College's Commencement exercises on June 12.
The First Citizen of the College Award recognizes a student, faculty or staff member who exemplifies the best of North Central College and honors a "unique spirit and legacy," that of Harold and Eva White, longtime editors and publishers of The Naperville Sun and alumni of the College.
The criterion for this award is very simple: to be the best. The person must witness for the highest ethical standards; set a standard of performance, hard work, involvement and results; be highly respected by his or her peers; and have something extra-empathy, compassion, courage, generosity of spirit-that exemplifies North Central College at its best.
In presenting the award to Miller, President Harold R. Wilde said, "Jim has helped shape this institution in many important ways. He has taken on the roles of student-athlete, admission counselor, coach, teacher and administrator. His energy and passion for North Central have helped inspire our recent successes in football, baseball and wrestling and our national championships in cross country and track and field. He's a true enthusiast for his alma mater, for the 80-plus coaches who report to him and for every one of our 600 student-athletes."
Miller graduated from North Central College in 1986 and went on to receive a master's degree in education from Northern Illinois University. He joined North Central College in 1987 working in the admission office and athletic recruiting, then as assistant football coach, head wrestling coach, associate professor and chair of health and physical education and associate athletic director. In 2005 after a nationwide search, Miller was named athletic director.
Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in Naperville, Ill., North Central is recognized as one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, which cites it as one of the top six schools in the Midwest for "Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching"; as "a college for high-achieving students" by Peterson's Competitive Colleges; and as one of "America's Best Colleges" by Forbes.