One month after the tragic death of Goshen College Biology Professor, James Miller, the Goshen College community gathered once again in his honor. On Monday morning, students and community members alike came together, not to mourn the loss of the beloved professor, but to celebrate his life and the impact Miller had on Goshen College.
President Jim Brenneman opened the special convocation by lighting a candle, symbolizing that “light overcomes darkness and life overcomes death,” Brenneman said in his opening statement.
Ryan Sensenig, Chair of the Biology Department, spoke of the traits Dr. Miller brought to his department and to Goshen College as a whole. Sensenig described his colleague’s love for teaching, his passion for physiological research and his relentless search for truth.
“Today is not so much about saying good-bye,” said Sensenig, “It’s about honoring the parts of Doctor Jim Miller that we will take with us.”
Dr. Richard Manalis, a friend and colleague of Miller for 13 years, shared Miller’s focus on truth. “We were both interested in the truth, it was like artists pursuing truth, beauty, perfection,” Manalis said of his relationship with Dr. Miller, “I will do my best to pursue goals in his memory.”
Kristen Martin, Laura Kraybill, Indigo Miller, and Daniel Driver – all students of Dr. Miller – shared memories of the professor who had influenced their college career so significantly.
“Jim inspired me to see the big picture,” Indigo Miller, a senior nursing student, said, “while noticing the beauty of God’s creation.”
The community also had a chance to hear from Dr. Miller’s wife, Linda Miller. Her address – entitled “What Jim Would Have Said” – described issues at Goshen College her husband felt strongly about: alcohol consumption, honesty, integrity and cheating.
“The time to live with honesty and integrity is now,” Linda Miller said, “I challenge you to do everything with integrity.”
As the Goshen College community presses through this hard time, the celebration of a life well-lived continues and the memories of Dr. Miller’s impact on our campus remain.
–by Hannah Bartel