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RG 30/255 - J. Clayton Miller (1909-1997)

John (Clayt) Clayton Miller was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 7, 1909. He attended Oberlin College from 1928-30. While a student at Oberlin, he was involved in many student activities, including the Glee Club, the Outing Club, the Oberlin Review, The Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association, and the YMCA. He was also awarded intramural pins for handball and basketball. He graduated from Oberlin with B.A. in Political Science/Pre-Law in 1930, and an A.M. degree in 1933.

Upon graduating from Oberlin, Miller went on to serve as a Shansi Representative in China, from 1930-32. The events between July 18, 1930-September 6, 1931, the first year Miller was in China, are well documented in letters he sent home to his parents. While in China, Miller collected maps of the region and photographs. He also shot 14 reels of 16mm film depicting missionary work in Shansi.

Upon returning from China, Miller pursued Public Administration at Syracuse University, earning a Masters of Science degree in 1949. He then went on to Columbia University where he earned a M.S. in Chinese. Miller is the author of several articles and book reviews relating to politics in Japan and China. Some of his articles include "Japan Turns Back the Clock" (1938) and "Japan's China vs. China's China" (1938). (See the inventory for more titles.) From 1951-56, Miller was involved in the National Committee for a Free Europe. He then went on to a position with the Ford Motor Company, in Dearborn, MI (1956-58), then to Development Resources Corporation, in New York City (1958-61). In 1961, Miller took a position in the U.S. Department of State, where he served as staff assistant/management analyst for the Veterans Administration. He retired from this job in 1980.

As a member of the Oberlin Alumni Association, Miller had a distinguished career. Miller served as admissions representative, class agent for ten years, and class president. In 1976, he was elected treasurer of the Alumni Association, and since then served on the Alumni Board, the Alumni Council and the Executive Committee/Board, including a two-year term as president of the Alumni Association. In 1990, at the class of 1930's 60th reunion, Miller was awarded the Alumni Medal for his service to Oberlin College. In 1996, Miller organized "A Ringing Ceremony of Longevity" commemorating the class of 1930 and the K'ung Bell stand.

On his 1994 Class Directory Information Card, Miller stated: "Oberlin enriched my life in three ways: it sent me to Shansi and thus started a life-long interest in China's history and language, I've pursued this vigorously in retirement. Also, it developed a social consciousness which shaped my career; unfortunately it was not distinguished." J. Clayton Miller died in Bethesda, Maryland, on August 12, 1997.

Sources Consulted
Student file of J. Clayton Miller (RG 28)
Oberlin College Seal -