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OU Post alum Paul Miller celebrates 100th birthday

For many alums, their ties to Ohio University stay strong after graduation. Paul Miller’s ties to OU have stayed tightly tethered for nearly 80 years. Miller turned 100 years old Wednesday and reflected positively on his time at OU and the years that followed.

“I have very fond memories of the university,” he said. “I was busy when I was there, but I enjoyed it and still recommend it.” 

Miller graduated from OU in 1947 with a degree in journalism. He had an early interest in journalism, but initially started classes at the University of Akron during World War II. After the war ended, he decided to attend OU’s campus because of its well-known journalism school. 

As soon as he started classes, Miller knew he wanted to cover sports. He had previously covered sports for his high school newspaper, so he applied to be the sports editor of The Post

Miller said he enjoyed his experience as a sports editor, but it is very different from how reporters cover OU sports now. As sports editor, he was not able to ride with the team for away games. 

“When the Bobcats were out of town, I was listening on the radio and making notes so that I could write a story covering the game,” Miller said.

After working in the position during his first semester, Miller said he planned on taking the rest of the year to focus on his grades. However, he said the Dean of Women, Irma Voigt, asked him to serve for the remainder of the year. 

In addition to his work at The Post and the Athena Yearbook, he was an active member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity on campus. He said the connections he made in the fraternity have encouraged him to remain active with other alums. Miller even lives just a few houses down from another fraternity alum now. 

“I just had fond memories of the fraternity and the work I had done to start my career,” Miller said. “I kept track, as I could, of the half dozen (members) that I was closest to.”

Following graduation from OU, Miller started his first job at the Canton Repository. He spent about five years at the paper, covering sports in the Massillon area, including football. He said a stand-out memory from his experience was covering a football game from the sidelines and with a camera, while his editors took his usual seats in the press box. 

Miller briefly served in the army before joining the Akron Beacon Journal. He no longer covered sports, instead covering local news and working on the copy desk. Miller worked there for 13 years before serving as the editor of The Marion Star.

He said another stand-out memory from his career occurred on the evening of his first day on the job. Miller attended a dinner in honor of former President Warren G. Harding. The next morning, a reporter from The Marion Star turned in a story covering the event but missed the most newsworthy part of the evening. 

“An old gentleman, who had been the honorary speaker the year before, came up to the microphone,” he said. “The meeting was over then, shortly thereafter. In 15 minutes, (the speaker) dropped dead in the hallway.” 

Despite his career’s jarring start, Miller went on to receive numerous awards throughout his career, including placing third in a national safety writing competition for a special edition story regarding traffic deaths. He continued writing safety editorials and won the state’s first-place award for eight years. 

Miller has had a lifetime filled with love and family. He was married to his first wife, Marty, for 50 years. Together, they had three children, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Marty later passed away, and Miller met his second wife Mary Ellen. They were together for almost 20 years before her passing.

Miller still recommends the university to others who want to study journalism and have a fulfilling career. 

“My work through the years taught me that (the school) was very economical and good in their production of The Post, but they were also tremendous in their preparation for people taking a job on a paper,” Miller said.


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