Top donors inducted into Paul Tulane Society

March 23, 2015 12:00 PM

Mary-Elizabeth Lough

2015 Paul Tulane Society inductee Gene Miller receives a hug from Tulane President Mike Fitts

2015 Paul Tulane Society inductee Gene Miller, left, receives a hug from Tulane President Mike Fitts. Miller, a 1954 Tulane graduate who majored in chemistry, received a PhD from Tulane in 1959. He founded and successfully led Chemron Corp. for over 20 years before selling the business in 2002. Miller was among nine new inductees honored for their transformative philanthropy to the university. (Photo by Sabree Hill)

“Our goal, in giving to Tulane, has been to be a small part of the mission of Tulane — to help prepare tomorrow's leaders.”

Kylene Beers, Paul Tulane Society inductee

Gene Miller counts his experience at Tulane University as one of the most important in his life, one that transformed a boy from a small town in the Midwest into a successful chemist and company chief. He was eager to return the favor to Tulane, endowing a professorship in honor of his mentor, Joseph Boyer.

He left behind a town of only 150 to attend Tulane.

“When I graduated from high school, my graduation present was the Korean War,” he joked. He noted that the conflict abroad provided strong incentive to keep his grades up as an undergraduate.

He credits Boyer, his former Tulane chemistry professor, with encouraging his interest in organic chemistry and convincing him to attend graduate school. Tulane provided him with the fellowship that allowed him to complete his doctorate.

Miller, along with his late wife, Lois Cullen Miller, was among nine inductees into the Paul Tulane Society on Wednesday (March 18) at the Audubon Tea Room. The Paul Tulane Society honors benefactors whose wide-ranging generosity has advanced programs, professorships and projects across the university.  

In his introductory remarks, Tulane President Mike Fitts referenced the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, where one man’s influence rippled across his community. He noted that “the love and generosity” of the Paul Tulane Society inductees had “positively altered the trajectories of Tulane and countless students and professors for generations to come.”

Along with the Millers, inductees into the Paul Tulane Society this year are: Brad and Kylene Beers; Joseph A. Breaux; the late Dr. Dean Baker Ellithorpe; The Marshall Heritage Foundation; Susan and James McCulloch; Bernard Osher; Jane and Edward Simon; and Martha McCarty Wells.

“Giving to Tulane has really been about giving to a group of people who believe, as Brad and I do, in the power of teaching and learning,” said Kylene Beers.

Mary-Elizabeth Lough is a development writer in the Office of Development Communications.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu