In Memoriam: Lou Miller

It is with great sadness that the Sonoma State and OLLI communities mourn the passing of Louallen Miller. Lou began teaching in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies in 1971 and retired after 29 years of service to Sonoma State University. In his “retirement,” Lou joined the fledgling OLLI program at Sonoma State, and served as both a member of the OLLI faculty and Director of the program. He taught several courses for OLLI, including the popular offering “A Few Big Questions” in the program’s first Winter term, in 2002. Lou brought several renowned speakers to the OLLI Holiday Lecture Series, including Michael Krasny and Daniel Ellsberg, and, together with Les Adler, former Dean of the School of Extended Education, coordinated several Global Lecture Series. Lou’s leadership as Director of OLLI from 2002-2009 was instrumental in securing key grants and developing a rich and varied curriculum. David Blazevich, Senior Program Officer from The Bernard Osher Foundation shared, “He did indeed play an important role in helping to shape not only the Osher Institute at Sonoma State but many other successful lifelong learning programs across the country.”

With an academic background in Political Science (PhD 1974, UCSB) and a passion for interdisciplinary study, Lou introduced this passion to the older adult community, inviting the 50+ crowd “to keep their minds young so that they could remain creative, informed and caring.” He also organized “Lunches with Lou,” informal gatherings where OLLI students could build community with the Director and with one another. His kindness and warmth permeated all of his pursuits, as reflected in his enduring relationships with the OLLI community. He will be greatly missed by the entire OLLI family.

Carin Jacobs, Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, SSU