A former school teacher who has degrees from the University of Florida and Florida State University is a new director in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.
Rick Miller started Jan. 13 and focuses on major-gift fundraising and mini-campaigns and assists with volunteer management and special projects of the Law Center Association board of trustees, said Lauren Wilcox, senior director of development and alumni affairs.
Miller worked for three years at FSU, where he raised more than $1.7 million for the College of Engineering as development director. Now, he’s turning his attention to UF Law to accomplish similar feats.
“I’m very excited about working in a new culture — going from working with engineers to law,” he said. “It’s a new way for me to look at the same type of alumni engagement, just with a different kind of constituent base.”
Miller graduated from UF in 2005 with his undergraduate degree in history. He also earned a master’s degree in sports administration from FSU and worked as a law firm administrator.
Part of his work ethic comes from his two years as a high school teacher in St. Petersburg.
“Things that I’ve learned while teaching, like how to work with people, how to adapt to different personalities and how to manage a group — those are things I’ve taken through my career,” he said.
With that background, Miller’s goal is to reach out to as many UF Law graduates as possible. His philosophy about connecting with alumni is finding out what they care about and giving them opportunities to invest in those areas.
“A lot of times it’s trying to unlock their passion,” he said.
“A lot of people have thought about giving back, but they haven’t been asked or don’t know what the process is.”
Miller, who grew up in the small town of Inverness, said he’s also glad to be back in Gainesville for sports reasons. “Even though I’ve worked with both universities and have degrees from both universities, I’ve always been a Gator,” he said.