William S. Miller III ’50: Contractor, Fisherman, Dedicated SAE Alum.

What do fishing, general contracting work, and uranium mining have to do with SAE? For Brother William S. Miller III ’50, these all represent major parts in his life and his work.

Miller, now 88, chose to go to SAE back in the day because his friend that he’d grown up with in Paxtang Burough, Harold Pickel Jr. ’43, had invited him to pledge. It also helped that Betty Miller, a sister from Chi Omega, whom Miller knew, said it was the best fraternity on campus. After one year at Penn State, Bill went into the army, but came back to finish in 1950. After he’d graduated, he went to work with his father who was a general contractor.

He went back into the army for a short time, before his father retired in 1968, and he took the business over in place of his father. As a general contractor, Miller helped do work for schools, colleges (including Penn State – Harrisburg), churches, and became a notable expert in building damages. Around 20 years ago, he retired, although he does get involved with the business now and then.

The company that Miller was born into had a long lineage (founded in 1895 by his grandfather, William S. Miller Sr. Since then, the business has prospered and done extremely well.

After all these years, did Bill think that SAE had an influence on him?

“I think it had some bearing on it, yes. I met some good, fine fellas there. Four or five of them became my best friends for a long time. Unfortunately, they’re all gone now…but this’ll happen when you’re 88.”

Those best friends were Fred Daggett Jr. ’49 and Daniel Kline. They did a lot together, hunted, fished, and had a good time. They remain the best times that he had with anyone at the fraternity.

However, perhaps the person that has made the larger impact is his wife, who he claims as his success. His wife is from his hometown, had gone to Gettysburg College and to Los Alamos Laboratories to test uranium. Upon return, they started seeing each other. “The game was up for me!” Bill said with a laugh.

A sorority sister at Gettysburg, they both had Greek life under their belt. On one occasion, they had both visited the Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories in Canada, where they had stumbled upon the Eldorado Mine, where uranium had been mined for the use of nuclear weapons in World War II, including Fat Boy and Little Man, the bombs both dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Funny enough that the same uranium would be the uranium taken to Port Uranium and shipped down to Los Alamos Laboratories for Bill’s wife to test.

The US is trying to reopen this mine, but several indigenous groups had protested, saying that the mine gave their people radiation poisoning, which would end up costing their lives.

Controversy and nuclear science aside, Bill has found this point in his life to be a first time donor to the annual fund. “I support good foundations like the NRA, SAE, my Presbyterian Church, Wounded Warriors and things like that,” he said. “I put SAE in that category of good foundations.”

Want to reach out to Bill? You can email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..