by Neil King
Thomas C. Miller started teaching at Indiana University South Bend as the scenic director and lighting designer for theatre productions in 1975. Miller served at the school for 35 years and went on to become the third dean of the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts, 2001-2008, preceding current dean Marvin Curtis.
During his time with the school Miller served the university with pride and led the school of the arts towards its current era, but it was his humanistic and caring interaction with the students and his talent as a designer that many remember most.
"Tom Miller was a very special person. He was a master at his craft of set design, and a master educator, held in high regard by his students. Tom honed his skills learning to design for opera, and that was evident in the remarkable sets he created for the stage at IU South Bend. I was appreciative of the time he gave to [my son] Darin, as a student, and the genuine interest he continued to express in my son, whenever we chanced to meet," writes Daniel J. Dahms, parent of Darin Dahms, BA ’98 Theatre.
Miller distinguished himself by earning the highest award possible for a faculty member at IU South Bend, the Eldon F. Lundquist Award, was honored by the IU South Bend Alumni Association with a Legacy Award, recognizing his significant impact on the lives of students, and is a professor emeritus of the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Two current faculty members of the theatre department studied under Miller: Associate Professor of Theatre and department chair Timothy Hanson and Professor in Theatre J. Randall Colborn.
Thomas C. Miller passed on July 22, 2018. There will be an event honoring his life scheduled in the spring of 2019. Details will be posted in the news section of an upcoming Aspire newsletter.