Retired Aflac Exec Pledges Gift to Benefit Music Students

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Lois E. and R. Duke Miller Family Foundation, Inc. has made a five-year, $50,000 pledge to Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music in memory of Lois E. Miller, a longtime supporter of the school.

The money will allow deserving music students to travel to prestigious music competitions throughout the world. The first two Miller Family Scholars, violin performance major Jing Yang and vocal performance major Coraine Tate, recently traveled to New Mexico for the National Competition of Music Teachers National Association. Yang and Tate both placed second in their respective divisions.

“Our students have traditionally fared very well at music competitions,” said Schwob School of Music Director Fred Cohen. “Their success validates for others the teaching and performance excellence of the Schwob school, and spreads the reputation of Columbus State University far beyond the Chattahoochee Valley.”

The Miller Family Foundation pledge also will help by providing private funds for use in national and international advertising.

“The Lois E. and R. Duke Miller Foundation, Inc. felt that the Schwob School of Music's many great accomplishments demonstrate the school's proven ability to excel as a center of musical excellence,” said R. Duke Miller, chairman of the Patrons of Music Society Steering Committee. “We are excited about the future of the school and want to do all in our power to encourage students of great promise to come to the Schwob School of Music and achieve outstanding careers. We hope others will join us in making gifts of support available to the Schwob School so it can continue to shine as a nationally recognized music institution.”

Miller, a retired Aflac executive, came to Columbus in 1979 with his wife Lois. Both loved music and became involved with the Schwob school. He has served as a volunteer for community organizations, including the American Cancer Society (Chairman, Board of Directors), Westville 1850 Village, the Columbus International Relations Commission and the Lois E. and R. Duke Miller Charitable Foundation, Inc.

He has also served as a board member of First Presbyterian Church, the Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum, Spring Harbor Residents Council and Children’s Tree House.

The Millers and their children all enjoyed singing, playing and performing in plays and musical shows. Lois Miller was involved for years with the Schwob School of Music Patrons Steering Committee before her death last July 1.