AU Press Releases
'Noteworthy' alumnus to deliver commencement address
The University will also bestow an honorary Doctor of Music degree on Miller.
"The Board of Trustees was unanimous in its decision to honor David Miller," said Alfred University President Charles M. Edmondson. "Not only is David Miller a recognized authority in transportation law, but he’s an acclaimed jazz pianist, and a devoted Alfred University alumnus. He’s guided us with his counsel, entertained us with his music, and inspired us with his leadership."
A native of Great Neck, NY, Miller earned a B.A. degree, cum laude, from Alfred. While at AU, he was a member of the golf team and a brother and president of Klan Alpine Fraternity. He was also the piano accompanist for the University choir and performed as a jazz pianist on and off campus.
After graduation, Miller entered Syracuse University College of Law, receiving his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, in 1969. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1970 and the California Bar in 1971. He earned a judicial clerkship position with the Appellate Division Third Department of the New York Supreme Court in Albany until 1970, when he joined Hanson, Bridgett, a law firm based in San Francisco, CA, with offices in Sacramento and Larkspur, CA.
He became a partner in 1974 and managing partner in 1984. Miller’s law practice centers on the transportation industry. For more than three decades he has served as general counsel for three of the principal mass transportation agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area: the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District; the San Mateo County Transit District; and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board.
He has lectured nationally on a wide range of transportation, real estate and labor relations issues, and was recognized for his contributions to public transportation when he was awarded Caltrain’s Silver Spike Award in 1988. The award is given to "individuals, groups and organizations that have made a significant contribution to Caltrain," the commuter railroad system that connects the cities of San Francisco and San Jose.
In 1988, Miller was the recipient of the Peninsula Coalition’s Community Leadership Award. He also has received recognition annually since 2005 as a California Super Lawyer by Super Lawyer Magazine.
He joined the Alfred University Board of Trustees in 1988, serving his first three-year term as an alumni-elected trustee before gaining a long-term appointment to the board. He has chaired the Academic Affairs Committee of the board, and has been a member of the Executive, Finance, Human Resources, Strategic Planning and Student Affairs committees.
Miller’s service to Alfred University includes his role as one of three national vice-chairs for "The Campaign for Alfred: Continuing the Legacy," 1988- 1994. His efforts on behalf of the University earned him an Alfred University Alumni Citation in 1999.
While he has been an active member of the AU Board of Trustees for nearly a quarter of a century, it is his talent as a jazz pianist that makes him well-known on campus. Miller says he’s been told he began playing the piano by ear at the age of three, and studied classical piano and music theory through high school.
During his college years, however, he switched to jazz piano. Shortly after he arrived in San Francisco, he met percussionist Bill Belasco, and formed an enduring musical partnership with him that has continued for nearly four decades. Ten years ago nationally renowned bassist, Mario Suraci, joined the Dave Miller Trio. The new ensemble has recorded several CDs. Rapture, issued on the Summit Records label in 2010, reached No. 14 on the national jazz charts for radio air play. Most recently, the trio has been joined by David’s daughter, vocalist Rebecca DuMaine. Their CD, Deed I Do, was released by Summit Records in 2011.
In addition to the performances with his band, Miller frequently has performed solo at professional, social and political events, including having had the honor of entertaining at three United States Senate Democratic Caucus Retreats in recent years. Whenever Miller has been on campus for Board of Trustees’ meetings, he has performed at jazz sessions with faculty, staff and students and drawn enthusiastic audiences from the community.
He and his wife Elizabeth "Bebes" Graves Miller, 1965 alumna of Alfred University with a B.A. degree in French, and a renowned teacher for more than four decades, have created an endowed fund for Performing Arts, with proceeds from the fund used to bring guest performers, lecturers and performance ensembles to campus. The Millers are members of the Alfred University Founders Society.
The Millers’ immediate family consists of their daughter, Stephanie, and their daughter Rebecca and her husband, Marc Bryman, and their two children, Jackson and Kealy. The Millers make their home in Atherton, CA.