Brian Miller '79, Alumni Board President
December 11, 2013
“Simply energizing.” That’s how Chicago native Brian Miller ’79 describes visits to campus. “So many positives are going on: the great faculty, new facilities, and involved students. I see the energetic leadership of President Glasser, who participates with alumni meetings and rallies the nationwide association. The campus is so vibrant and alive; it’s contagious!”
Miller joined the Bradley University Alumni Association (BUAA) board seven years ago, chaired the marketing committee for BUAA, and now serves as the board’s president. As president, he gave the Alumni Address at the Founder’s Day Convocation and emceed the Founder’s Day Luncheon in October.
Having a background in marketing and communication has been asset to Miller’s career. He majored in communications and had three years of commercial broadcast experience at WWCT 106 FM. However, his career took an unexpected turn when he decided to interview with Procter & Gamble when a recruiter came to campus. He says, “P&G offered a very interesting opportunity, and I started with them in Peoria in their paper products division.
“They were looking for someone who had business acumen, but they didn’t require a business degree. They wanted someone who could lead. Procter & Gamble defines leadership as the ability to influence,” Miller says. “Externally, you make sure buyers purchase and promote more of your products through increased orders and features. Internally, you influence by presenting your initiatives and ideas.
After a few years at Procter & Gamble, Miller continued to build his career at Coca-Cola and Jacobs-Suchard before joining PepsiCo. He is now director of sales – recycling. for PepsiCo in downtown Chicago.
Miller says his Bradley experience served him well as he prepared for a career. “Bradley gave me the opportunity in a healthy way to explore what I could do and be. The primary reason I chose Bradley is I wanted to go into communications, but I didn’t really know how I wanted to apply that desire. Many universities had broadcasting programs, but you didn’t get a hands-on experience until your junior or senior year. Bradley gave me the opportunity to get involved with WCBU immediately. I could prepare for my FCC examination my first semester and get experience on-air at WCBU. I got my FCC license and started my three-year broadcasting experience on WWCT.”
Miller also was involved in several student activities. He was a Student Aide and admires Dr. Ray Zarvell, executive director, Student Development and Health Services, emeritus, who ran the program until his retirement. Miller says, “Student Aides are the face of the University at a critical point in students’ lives. I experienced friendship, leadership and responsibility at a new level.”
Miller also was on Student Senate for several years and enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in the election process. He was a member of Delta Upsilon and led several of the fraternity’s committees and teams while at Bradley.
As an alum, he wants to bring his experience back to campus by serving on the BUAA board and providing a leadership role. “If I can contribute, I must contribute.”