Vanessa Alyn Miller '04
B.A., Communication and Mathematics; Newark, Ohio
Vanessa Miller is a member of Phi Society, and Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honorary, was president of Lambda Pi Eta communication honorary, vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary and inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. A Dean's Distinguished Leadership Award winner, she also was winner of a Young Scholar award, the Heritage Scholarship, the Lionel G. Crocker Scholarship, and numerous departmental scholar awards. She served as a DJ for the student radio station, WDUB, on the Dining Committee for the student government association, as a hostess and panelist for the admissions office, and on the June Orientation staff and as its student coordinator. She lettered as a member of the Denison varsity indoor and outdoor track and field team and on the cross country team and earned Academic All-American honors.
"Vanessa, letters from your teachers are uniform in describing the traits of a non-uniform person: 'one of a kind,' 'throw away the mold,' and 'the likes of which we will not see for a long time.' It is not only that you are an intellectual risk-taker; it's that you combine what one faculty calls a 'razor-sharp' analytic ability with an impish yet endearing sense of humor. As a Phi Beta Kappa double major in Communication and Mathematics, you have demonstrated 'a fierce and courageous independence of mind' in settings where others have feared deviation from the norm. And sometimes when you have deviated, you have done it in rhyming couplets! You are the only person ever to have completed the application to serve on the June Orientation staff by writing thirty quatrains of rhymed verse!
"As a staunch member of the women's track team, you fused your academic strengths with your love of running to craft an honors project that probes how and why the Nike Corporation configured its most recent marketing campaigns to corner a larger share of the women's athletic market. Your advisor says that your research 'will most likely blossom into an influential study if given proper attention in graduate school.' We learned of another love of yours -- Hershey chocolates! -- when you won the prize of a giant Hershey's bar for being the first person this year to turn in your honors project. Then we learned of your aspiration of someday assuming the role of advertising director for Nike -- but only after spending a year driving the Hershey Kissmobile!
"As witnessed by your Distinguished Leadership Award, your impact goes well beyond the academic. You are one of only two students ever to have served on the June Orientation staff for four years, capping off that record as this year's June O Student Staff Coordinator. At the same time you contributed mightily to the women's track team, anchored a weekly show on WDUB, served as admissions panelist and hostess and as Vice President for ODK.
"Vanessa, as you prepare to embark on what will certainly be a highly successful post-Denison career, we offer you the following capsule description of your legacy at our College:
"She came from Newark, out of the blue, And left her mark -- deep, strong, and true."