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Professor Sally Miller

Emerita Professor Sally Miller

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Emerita history professor Sally Miller passed away Friday, Feb. 22

Feb 26, 2019

Sally Miller, emerita professor of history in the College of the Pacific, passed away Friday, Feb. 22. She was 81.

Miller joined the Pacific faculty in 1967 and retired in 1999 after 32 years of outstanding service. She was the first female tenured professor in the social sciences at Pacific and one of the first lesbian professors at Pacific. She was a pioneering advocate for LGBT rights both on campus and in San Joaquin County. With her life partner, Peg, she founded Delta Women, the first organization in the San Joaquin Valley for lesbian and bisexual women.

Miller was a prolific and insightful author and teacher and published extensively on women and women's history, immigrants, feminism and socialism, and authored or edited a number of books, including three books on John Muir, the biography "From Prairie to Prison: The Life of Social Activist Kate Richards O'Hare," and her final memoir, "Two Women, Five Decades: From Closeted Isolation to 21st–Century Community," published in 2012 following the death of her partner, Peg. She spoke about her book at an invited lecture during the 2012 Women's History Month celebration. The Holt-Atherton Special Collections' "The Women in the West" collection comprises oral history interviews and other primary source materials pertaining to the history of women in the western United States and is built upon Miller's work to increase the available materials and documentation of West Coast women's history. 

She was recognized well beyond Pacific by fellow historians for her publications and conference papers and was frequently invited to universities abroad, several times as a Fulbright scholar. While her research focused on labor and women's history, she ensured that the university's Muir Conferences received national recognition by identifying publishers for the papers and by editing the volumes to guarantee scholarly excellence. Milller was one of the founders of the interdisciplinary program in women's studies at Pacific in the 1980s, which evolved into the gender studies program in the 1990s. She was a strong and wise mentor for the new wave of women faculty members in the 1990s and stayed active with Pacific as part of the Emeriti Society long after her retirement. She received the University's Distinguished Faculty Award in 1976 in recognition of her teaching and scholarship. 

There will be a Celebration of Life at 2 p.m. in the Presidents Room on the Stockton Campus on June 22, 2019, with a reception following in the Regents Dining Room.

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