Pfeiffer University has named veteran banker and North Carolina native Michael Miller its next president. Miller, 59, will officially begin as the university’s ninth leader on Dec. 1.
Pfeiffer University Board of Trustees Chairman Greg Hunter officially announced the appointment. He also thanked the presidential search committee for their service during the four-month selection process. Miller’s appointment was approved by the university’s trustees on Nov. 10 during a special board session.
"Mike's experience as a business leader, attorney, entrepreneur and community advocate has led organizations to success and will expose Pfeiffer to a unique set of leadership skills," Hunter said. "His ties to the region and the state make him uniquely qualified. He possesses the qualities, vision and expertise to lead this institution, and we are excited about Pfeiffer University's future with Mike at the helm."
Miller brings more than 25 years of executive leadership experience. The attorney, who was a former president and CEO of CommunityONE Bank in Asheboro, led its growth from a one-county bank to an organization with more than $2 billion in assets with 45 offices in 18 North Carolina counties.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the Pfeiffer community. I look forward to working with our dedicated faculty and academic professionals, and an outstanding board of trustees to provide an exceptional academic and intensely personal student experience which has come to define Pfeiffer,” Miller said. “I am excited to be a part of this very special university community and to be able to play a part in helping Pfeiffer realize the tremendous opportunities on its horizon.”
A longtime banker, Miller has also served as chairman of the North Carolina Bankers Association, dean of the North Carolina School of Banking, a director of the Charlotte Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and a director of the American Bankers Association. He serves on the board of visitors and the corporate relations committee for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and recently completed terms as a director for the Randolph Community College Foundation and the Ferree Educational Foundation.
Miller has been active in community, state and industry affairs. He serves on the board of directors for Randolph Hospital Inc., an independent community health organization. He is a former chairman of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, a non-partisan, independent research organization, and served two terms as a trustee and chair of the NC IOLTA Committee of the North Carolina State Bar.
A Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, Miller earned a MBA from the Babcock School of Management at Wake Forest and a JD from the Wake Forest School of Law. He has also worked in private law practice and in corporate practice in the legal department of Blue Bell Inc.
He is married to the former Donna Jacobi, a community civic leader and missions and educational volunteer who is a recipient of the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service. The couple has three adult children: Michael Miller Jr., of New York, Lisa Miller of Washington, DC, and Jake Miller of Lexington, NC.
Miller succeeds Dr. Chuck Ambrose, who left Pfeiffer after 12 years on June 30 to lead the University of Central Missouri. David McIlquham, a former Sealy Inc. CEO and a Pfeiffer trustee, has served as the university’s interim president since July 1.