Mount Vernon News
Franklin Miller Jr. of Gambier is 100 years old.
Franklin Miller Jr. of Gambier is 100 years old. (Photo by Alan Reed) View Image

By Mount Vernon News
September 7, 2012 12:25 pm EDT


GAMBIER — Franklin Miller Jr., professor emeritus of physics, has reached the century mark, and Saturday is Franklin Miller Day at Kenyon College to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Although reluctant to talk about himself, Miller did speak with the News on Thursday afternoon.


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Born in St. Louis, Miller played soccer while attending Swathmore College and was the JV soccer coach while teaching at Rutgers University.

Before Rutgers, Miller did his post graduate work at the University of Chicago. While there, Miller’s research lab was next to that of Nobel prize winner Arthur Compton, Miller’s professor and friend. “Compton and I played tennis together,” Miller said. “We made music together. We went to concerts together. He had the research lab next to mine.”

During World War II, Miller, then teaching at Rutgers, went to visit Compton, who was running the plutonium lab at the University of Chicago. “I went to call on him, just out of friendship, and he said, ‘Franklin, my boy, we need someone like you to work on a very important project.’ He wasn’t saying what the project was, but I realized it had something to do with the war, naturally. I had become a Quaker at Rutgers, and I wasn’t going to take any part of any war, so I turned him down.”

Miller arrived at Kenyon College in 1948, when Kenyon was an all-male institution.

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Contact Pamela Schehl

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