Former Oakwood President Garland Millet Dies
Led Oakwood University during accreditation period, hosted Dr. King
arland J. Millet, the fifth president of what is now Oakwood University and a former associate secretary of the General Conference Education department, died September 7 at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 95 years old.
A native of Oakland, California, Millet was president of Oakwood College from 1954 to 1963. During that period, enrollment at the historically Black Seventh-day Adventist school doubled, the number of faculty increased to 55, and 13 new buildings were constructed. Millet and Oakwood also hosted a 1962 visit from the late Martin Luther King, Jr., an American civil rights pioneer whose legacy is today remembered with a Federal holiday.
GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
Garland Millet, former Oakwood President. [Photo: Deborah Palmer Photography, 2007]
After leaving Oakwood in 1963, Millet continued in the field of African-American education, as well as s Seventh-day Adventist ministry. He first served as consultant for Brown Engineering, and taught classes at Alabama A&M University. In 1965, he received a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University’s George Peabody College. From 1965 to 1967, he served the triple roles of assistant to the president of Fisk University, as an associate professor at Fisk, and as pastor of the Riverside Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church, all in Memphis. From 1967 to 1970, he served as the third African-American editor of Message Magazine, an Adventist publication.
At the 1970 General Conference Session in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Millet was elected as the first African-American worker in the church’s Education Department. He served for eight years as an associate director, coordinating overseas higher education evaluations, editing The Journal of Adventist Education, and issued, with supporting committees, a review of Adventist nursing education, “Seventh-day Adventist Concepts of Psychology,” and “Christian Education—Values Needed Now.” He also served on the Oakwood College Board of Trustees for some 20 years. He was presented with the Education Department’s highest award, the Medallion of Honor, at the 1990 General Conference Session in Indianapolis.
From 1978 to 1982, Millet served as a special assistant to the president of Loma Linda University.   One of his tasks was to encourage more Black and other non-White employment at Loma Linda University and Medical Center, which together comprised one of the world’s largest Seventh-day Adventist institutions. During his tenure the total number of African-American employees grew and 27 African-American teachers were invited to teach at the University. Approximately 60 invitations were extended to other ethnic minorities.
After his “retirement” to Huntsville in 1982, Millet participated briefly in a faculty exchange program at Bethel College in The Transkei, South Africa. Between 1984 and 1990, he taught occasional classes in Principles of Christian Education and the Gift of Prophecy at Oakwood. Millet was a charter member and second president of the Committee of 100 for Oakwood College.
He had been married to his wife Ursula, herself a teacher, for 70 years when she passed away on January 13, 2008.
Survivors include a son, Garland F. Millet; daughters, Carol (George) Byars and Debbe Millet; a sister, Ann Roberts; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Memorial arrangements are pending.
                                                                                               --Oakwood University Communication with AR Staff

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