100 Inspirational Alumni, Business Beyond Usual

Arjay Miller | "Inspirational 100" Alumnus


Arjay Miller, B.S. 1937

Arjay MillerArjay Miller, the fourth dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, led the school into the top ranks of management education institution, expanded its endowment and created the often copied Public Management Program.

He was such a respected figure at the Stanford Business School that each year the top 10 percent of the graduating MBA class are designated Arjay Miller Scholars. Miller, who still lives just a few miles from the campus, is a frequent participant in activities and still meets with students.

Born on a farm in Shelby, Nebraska, on March 4, 1916 to Rawley John and Mary Gertrude Miller his unusual first name was based on a combination his father's first and middle names.

Miller earned his bachelor's degree from UCLA in 1937 and then worked part-time as a teaching assistant at UC Berkeley before becoming an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

He then served for three years in the U.S. Air Force before joining Ford Motor Co. in 1946 as part of a group of young military veterans who became known as the Whiz Kids for their role in retooling the auto giant's business operations following World War II.

Miller worked with the automobile giant for 23 years, serving us president in the early 1960. He was lured away to  become dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, arriving on July 1, 1969.

When he accepted the deanship in late 1968, at the close of one of the most politically turbulent years on U.S. campuses in history, Miller was quoted as saying, "Anyone who joins a university administration today has to be either an optimist or a fool - and I can't quite admit that I am a fool."