Why Invest? 

Leaving Their Legacy at Africa University

Shannon L. Alder writes, “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones; a legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”  For Darvin and Marge Miller of Phoenix, AZ, leaving a legacy is not only an important tenet of their faith but also the raison d’être of their life’s work.

For more than twenty years, the Millers, while tenured professors at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, designed and taught innovative, cutting-edge curricula in early childhood education (Marge’s expertise) and for teaching special needs children (Darvin’s expertise). Marge was one of the first educators to develop an early childhood teacher preparation program in Wisconsin.  Darvin was recognized by the University of Wisconsin System as one of the top scholastic leaders in handicapped-preparation programming in Wisconsin.

After their retirement to Phoenix in 1994, the Millers sought ways to continue to impact the lives of young children with special needs through their local church, Dayspring UMC of Tempe, and through community organizations. An exciting opportunity presented itself in 2012 when Darvin traveled with a 42-member delegation from the Desert Southwest Annual Conference to Africa University for the 20th anniversary celebration and to install a faculty chair funded by the Annual Conference in the Faculty of Health Sciences.  While on-site, Darvin visited with the professors and nursing students and was impressed with their deep commitment to the health needs of young African children.

Upon his return home, as he and Marge considered their legacy and how their life’s work might be continued in an area of the world most in need, they decided to establish the Africa University Darvin and Marge Miller Early Healthcare Intervention Endowed Scholarship Fund “to enhance the preparation of exemplary nursing students who are committed to serving the special needs of young children in Africa.”

Each of us will leave a legacy.  The question is: What kind of legacy will you leave?

— Elaine Jenkins, director of planned giving in the Africa University Development Office. To contact Elaine, email: ejenkins@gbhem.org. Visit the planned giving website for more information about gifts you can make without diminishing your income or savings.