Founders’ Spotlight: John D. Millett

John D. Millett was a visionary 20th century educator who was instrumental in the founding of Wright State. As president of Miami University, one of Wright State’s two parent institutions, John was a vital player in the push for a new campus in the Dayton area. Miami had been offering college courses in Dayton for many years, but demand continued to grow and a long term solution was needed. Miami did not wish to pursue a permanent branch campus in Dayton. But President Millett, among other Higher Ed administrators and civic leaders, recognized the need for a state university in the area. He was immediately favorable to the concept of creating a temporary joint branch campus in Dayton along with The Ohio State University, until the campus could become a self-sustaining state university. In addition to providing the project with the resources and support of Miami University, John also served as the first Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, where he helped develop state plans and funding mechanisms for the new university system in Ohio, which included Wright State University. The 3rd building of the Founder’s Quadrangle, completed in 1966, was named Millett Hall in his honor.

You can find more photos of John D. Millett in the University Archives collection, the Dayton Daily News Archive (MS-458, Box 1527, “Millett, John D.”), and (through the end of the summer) in the “Founders’ Quad” exhibit on the first floor of Dunbar Library.


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