Former RIT First Lady Francena Miller Dies

Mrs. Miller had been a professor of family studies at RIT; Paul Miller served as president 1969–1979

Follow Vienna Carvalho-McGrain on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

Francena Miller, wife of former RIT President Paul Miller, died July 10.

Francena Miller, former RIT professor, retiree and wife of President Emeritus Paul Miller, passed away July 10.

Miller graduated with two degrees from Cornell University and achieved her doctorate in rural sociology and family studies at Pennsylvania State University. She was professor of rural sociology at Penn State, assistant dean and director of the School of Home Economics at West Virginia University, dean of the College of Home Economics at the University of Connecticut, national director of the American Association of University Women in Washington, D.C., professor of sociology at Queens College in Charlotte, N.C., and professor of family studies at RIT.

She was also a leader or participant in numerous state and national commissions on issues of women, families and poverty. As a senior program consultant of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, she reviewed projects in Africa, Greece and Latin America. In Rochester, she was deeply engaged in civic projects and served on several boards of banking, college and industrial institutions.

She has received numerous awards for her civic contributions, including an honorary doctorate from Nazareth College of Rochester.

In her retirement years, Miller was especially interested in the Unitarian Universalist Church, the women’s support group of the Missouri Symphony Society, tutoring in English as a second language and serving on the advisory board of University of Missouri’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

The RIT flag will be lowered this week in her memory.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lounsbery and Miller We Build Fund, the Kiwanis Club of Columbia, P.O. Box 158, Columbia, Mo., 65205. Online condolences for the family may be left at A celebration of her life for family and friends will be held at later date.