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Note: Pictured are Bob & Carla Miller with Bulldog Hockey defenseman Simon Denis
BIG RAPIDS – Bob and Carla Miller have been avid Ferris State University ice hockey fans for 14 seasons. Their enthusiastic support of the program is indicative of how big Bulldog hockey has become in their lives. Visible at almost all home games, the Millers have watched the Bulldogs travel an "amazing" course to become a top national college hockey program.
Committed to helping the Bulldogs remain a top national program, the Millers announced at the Ferris Hockey Alumni Golf Outing, on Saturday, Aug. 2, their $250,000 commitment toward the $1.5 million "Be a Playmaker" endowment campaign to ensure that Ferris hockey retains its elite reputation and has adequate resources to participate in higher-level competition in Division I hockey. Their gift will be recognized as the Leroy R. Broadfoot Hockey Program Endowment.
"We are making this gift in honor of Carla's father, Leroy R. Broadfoot, who was such a big role model to us and because of his love for college sports," Bob said. "In the 14 years we have watched Ferris hockey, we are continually amazed by how we compete with the premier hockey schools in the country."
Carla echoed Bob's sentiments.
"We have enjoyed it thoroughly and all the friends we have made along the way," she said. "We are so impressed with the hockey players who have such character with their discipline, maturity and strong academics. It made it easy for us to decide to give back."
Carla, who currently serves as the associate vice president for special/leadership gifts and as executive director of The Ferris Foundation, has worked in fundraising coming from Alfred University and Utah Valley University. For more than 40 years, she has worked in and around higher education. Carla is a Blueline Club member. She and her husband, Bob, are ambassadors for the hockey program. She is also a founder of Ferris' Men's Lacrosse Club team.
Bob, originally from Long Island, N.Y. was raised in a military family and spent his formative years growing up in North Africa, Germany and Spain. He earned his undergraduate degree from Wichita State University, in Kansas, where he met his wife of 42 years, Carla, and completed his graduate degree at Iowa State University. Bob next embarked on a 32-year career in higher education administrative capacities such as director of student activities, director of residence life, assistant dean and dean of students. Currently, Bob serves on the Friends of Ferris board of directors and is the Blueline Club vice president. Bob played hockey while in boarding school in Andover, Mass.
Bob Daniels, head coach of the Ferris hockey team, expressed his gratitude for the generous gift from the Millers.
"Bob and Carla Miller's gift establishes a new standard of philanthropy for Ferris hockey and for our entire athletics department," he said. "Their gift will allow Ferris to continue the history of providing the resources necessary to support our student athletes in competition, the classroom and achievement throughout life."
Daniels saluted the leadership shown by the Millers in their dedication to Bulldog hockey.
"A trademark of our successful teams has been strong leadership of our student athletes," he said. "The gift from Bob and Carla Miller represents the strong leadership necessary for the Ferris hockey program's future success."
To help support Bulldog hockey and the "Be a Playmaker" campaign, please contact Will Goode at (231) 591-3818 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the campaign is also available online at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com.