Miller Hill at App State’s Kidd Brewer Stadium Named After Alumnus, Benefactor

Published Monday, December 7, 2015 at 10:17 am
In honor of Appalachian State alumnus and generous benefactor Lonnie Dent Miller, the grass hill on the south end of Kidd Brewer Stadium has been named the Lonnie Dent Miller Family Hill (Miller Hill). Photo courtesy Appalachian State Athletics

In honor of Appalachian State alumnus and generous benefactor Lonnie Dent Miller, the grass hill on the south end of Kidd Brewer Stadium has been named the Lonnie Dent Miller Family Hill (Miller Hill). Photo courtesy Appalachian State Athletics

Mrs. June Miller and her family have made a significant contribution to Appalachian State University athletics in memory of her late husband, Mr. Lonnie Dent Miller, Appalachian State director of athletics Doug Gillin announced on Thursday.

In honor of their gift, Appalachian State has named the grass hill on the south end of Kidd Brewer Stadium the Lonnie Dent Miller Family Hill (Miller Hill), effective immediately.

“We are very appreciative of the Millers for their support of Appalachian State student-athletes and the aggressive vision that we have for the future of Mountaineer athletics,” Gillin said. “The Millers’ generous gift will directly impact our student-athletes as they work to achieve their academic and athletic goals.”

An Appalachian State alumnus and baseball student-athlete, Lonnie Dent Miller received a B.S. in education in 1955 and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University in 2011.

After graduating from Appalachian in 1955, Miller was a teacher, coach and administrator in the Cabarrus, Salisbury and Statesville school systems from 1955-76. As an educator, he helped integrate both Statesville and Salisbury High Schools.

He left education in 1976 to work in the restaurant industry, eventually co-founding Sagebrush Steakhouse, which now has 23 locations across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia (including one in Boone, less than a mile from Appalachian State’s campus). Miller was named the North Carolina Restaurateur of the Year in 1990.

Following his retirement from the restaurant industry in 1999, he founded and was president of LDM Properties Management Company.

“My Granddaddy always said that if it wasn’t for Appalachian, he wouldn’t have been the successful person he was,” said Miller’s grandson, Travis Elliott.

He gave back to his alma mater throughout his life, most notably as a member of the Appalachian State University Foundation Board of Directors for 10 years. He served as the Foundation’s vice chair (2006-07) and chair (2008-09) and was also vice chair of the Foundation’s audit committee and a member of the advancement, finance and investments advisory committees.

He was also an active member of the Appalachian Board of Visitors, the Yosef Club and the Former Athletes Association.

In addition to his volunteer work, he was a generous benefactor of Appalachian, providing important support for several campus-wide initiatives, including endowments for scholarships and academic programs.

He was inducted into the Reich College of Education’s Rhododendron Society in 2003 and was the recipient of the Appalachian Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004. He was also a member of the University’s 1899 Legacy Society.

Miller died on March 23, 2015 at the age of 81.

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