St. Norbert Ambassador of Peace Award Ceremony and Reception
Honoring Shirlyn Miller
Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016
Private Reception, St. Norbert College
Honoring Norbert of Xanten’s legacy of reconciliation, each year St. Norbert College recognizes an individual who has been an influential advocate for sustainable peace in our world. The St. Norbert Ambassador of Peace demonstrates the qualities of a peacemaker in a consistent and outstanding manner: respect for persons, promotion of dialogue, nonviolent conflict resolution, reconciliation and forgiveness.
Shirlyn Miller is this year's St. Norbert Ambassador of Peace, in recognition for her steadfast support of peace and justice initiatives in our community. Shirlyn is a 94-year old phenom, possessed of an infectious love of life. She has no stunning curriculum vitae to fill this page although let it be noted she earned a degree in Economics from Northwestern University ’43, and a Phi Beta Kappa key. Her life trajectory took her from Galesburg, Illinois where she grew up to Green Bay, Wisconsin where she made a family and a life with the first man she ever kissed, Norman Miller. This was, by any measure, a fortunate and successful union of 64 years.
The marriage begot and haphazardly raised three successful children who adore her and underscored the proverbial wisdom that behind every great man is a great woman. Thus, it can be argued that Norman Miller’s myriad accomplishments in business and community service were made possible in part because of the support and security provided him by Shirlyn on the homefront. Though this was a time of many proscriptions on women’s opportunities, Shirlyn did have an impact outside the home, taking on leadership roles in the Jewish community and serving as president of the League of Women Voters. Newspaper clippings of the time always identified her as Mrs. Norman Miller, her own name jettisoned into oblivion because she lived in a time when a woman was to be seen only as a reflection of her husband. But as a reflection of Norman Miller, Shirlyn Miller was always simply dazzling.
Upon Norman’s death in 2008, Shirlyn grabbed the reins of the Norman Miller Foundation and endowed the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice and Public Understanding. She brought to the Center and the Miller Lecture Series a personal, accessible touch which has only served to enhance its mission. She continues to play an active role and delights in meeting and getting to know recipients of the Center’s scholarships, even establishing friendships with students seventy-plus years her junior. With her seemingly indefatigable energy and embrace of all that life affords, she serves as a beloved mentor to any and all lucky enough to come into her orbit. She steadfastly continues her husband’s legacy of philanthropy and public service, recently agreeing to serve on the Board of Directors of Cnesses Israel Congregation for a term that will take her into her 97th year. She’s an avid swimmer, golfer, puzzle solver and bridge player and still lives in the family home in Green Bay.
This event is sponsored by the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding at St. Norbert College. For more information call Catherine Uedelhofen at 920-403-3919.