As holiday story time approaches, alumna fondly remembers Jon Miller

Founding faculty member Dr. Jon Miller established a longstanding school tradition of reading Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” annually for the Science and Math community. Since his retirement in 2015 — and his death in 2017 at age 73 — Dean of Humanities Elizabeth Moose continues the tradition by reading,“’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” As this year’s reading approaches on Dec. 15, many alumni and colleagues remember Dr. Miller fondly. Melissa Brady ’02 was so struck by Dr. Miller’s wisdom and kindness while she was a student that she often wrote down quotations in her British literature class notebook. She now shares the following selection from that single notebook with the whole community, saying, “I hope we can remember his presence. His voice still echoes with me to this day. He is one of the many reasons NCSSM is so special.”

On education and learning

On life and relationships

On character and a meaningful life

Brady took a break in her class notes to journal in March 2002 at age 17, “Dr. Miller makes me not want to leave Science and Math. His voice, his lessons, his wisdom — constantly reassuring. He always makes me feel good about life. The world would be a wonderful place if all its children had a little Dr. Miller to carry on in them.”

She reflected that “this note followed a quote of him saying, ‘Death becomes closer and closer as we go on – it becomes more personal,’” adding, “As it did for him — as it does for us all.”

Asked upon his retirement about his fame for reading “The Grinch” annually in Bryan Lobby, Miller said this: “The remarkable thing from my perspective is to see the students gathered; they look like they’re 17 going on 27 because, of course, everyone is dressed up. Then all of a sudden they are 17 going on 7, sitting on the floor listening to a story.”