AUSTIN, TX (1.4.18) – A memorial service for Dr. Joseph T. McMillan, Jr., President Emeritus of Huston-Tillotson University, will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at 11 a.m. on the campus at 900 Chicon Street in King-Seabrook Chapel.
Dr. McMillan served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Huston-Tillotson College from July 1, 1988, to June 30, 2000. He was named President Emeritus after his retirement. Serving as the fourth president of what is now Huston-Tillotson University, Dr. McMillan’s 12-year legacy included the development of new course majors to address workforce development in Austin; strengthening standards for admission, retention, and financial aid eligibility; implementing technology throughout campus; building and maintenance enhancements; the initiation of comprehensive strategic planning processes; and increased financial stability.
“Dr. McMillan’s strong passion for the University and its students was remarkable.” said President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette. “As President Emeritus of a 142-year old institution, he was consistently advocating for young people. I am pleased to have known him and forever grateful for his support and encouragement. He will be missed.”
Formerly, Dr. McMillan served on the staff of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, one of the former program agencies of the United Church of Christ, based in New York City. As Secretary for Higher Education Relationships and Executive Secretary of the Council for Higher Education, from 1970-1988, he directed the church’s ministry in church-related higher education for 18 years.
Before joining the staff of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, Dr. McMillan was a residence hall counselor at Howard University in Washington, DC, from 1967-1970. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University in 1965, with a major in psychology; his Master of Arts degree in Student Personnel Administration from Howard University in 1970; and the Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1986. He also earned the Certificate in Educational Management from Harvard University during the summer of 1990.
Dr. McMillan is the recipient of two honorary degrees: the Doctor of Letters degree, awarded by Yankton College in 1978; and the Doctor of Laws degree, awarded by Huston-Tillotson College in 1984. He has also received honors as the 1993 Outstanding Texan Award in Education from the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and the 1995 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award of the Austin Area Urban League.
Dr. McMillan was active in civic, cultural, religious, and educational organizations throughout the nation. He was a Trustee of the Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ, a member of the Board of Directors of The College Fund/UNCF and of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), Secretary of the Council of Presidents of The United Methodist Church, and the former Chair of the Council for Higher Education of the United Church of Christ (1996-1999) and of the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of Developing Colleges (1993-1997). In the City of Austin, he was a member of the Austin Regional Advisory Board of Chase Bank of Texas; a member of the Certification Advisory Council of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce (1990-1993). He was a member of the Congregational Church of Austin and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. He served on the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force to advise the selection of the Austin Independent School District Superintendent of Schools in 1999.
Dr. McMillan was born in Valdosta, Georgia, on July 19, 1944. He is the son of the late Rev. Joseph T. McMillan, Sr., a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the late Mrs. Olivia Cooper McMillan, a former teacher. Dr. McMillan lived and attended public schools throughout the South, and graduated from New Stanton Senior High School of Jacksonville, Florida, in 1961. His special interests included counseling young people and nineteenth century history of the education of African-Americans.
Gifts in Dr. McMillan’s memory may be made to the Joseph T. McMillan, Jr. Scholarship Fund established at Huston-Tillotson University, Attn: Institutional Advancement, 900 Chicon Street, Austin, TX 78702.