VitaeClick here to download President Michael C. Miller's Vitae.
Meet Mike Miller
Michael C. Miller
Community and Servant Leader
Mike began making his mark on Pfeiffer University as soon as he became its ninth president in December 2010. Overseeing campus improvements, guiding the start or enhancement of academic programs, and spearheading the development of a dynamic strategic plan, his aim is to strengthen and secure Pfeiffer’s position as a 21st century leader in undergraduate and graduate higher education in North Carolina and the nation.
A lifelong Carolinian and committed to serving others through his personal and professional endeavors, Mike currently serves on the board of directors for Randolph Hospital, Inc. He is past chairman of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, a nonpartisan, independent research organization, and has served as a trustee for the North Carolina IOLTA Committee of the North Carolina State Bar, which makes grants to
provide legal services for the indigent.
Mike and his wife, Donna who is a civic leader, missions and educational volunteer, and a recipient of the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service, have three grown children and are active members of the First United Methodist Church in Asheboro.
Education, Professional and Service Highlights
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill/Morehead Scholar, B.A. in Psychology; Wake Forest University Babcock School of Management, M.B.A.; Wake Forest School of Law, J.D.
- President and CEO, CommunityONE Bank and its predecessor, First National Bank and Trust, Asheboro, N.C.
- Former chairman, North Carolina Bankers Association; dean, North Carolina School of Banking; director,Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Charlotte branch; director, American Bankers Association
- Board of Visitors and Corporate Relations Committee, UNC-Greensboro; and director, Randolph Community College Foundation and Ferree Educational Foundation
A History of Leadership: Pfeiffer’s Past Presidents
Strong leaders have influenced Pfeiffer’s success over the years, taking the university from its original status as a day school through its years as a junior college and college, before becoming the multi-campus university it is today. They are:
Dr. Wick Shafter Sharp
President of Pfeiffer Junior College 1933-43
Achievements: Construction of the President’s Home; Cline, Goode, Merner and Rowe Halls (1935); Jane Freeman Hall (1937); Washington Hall and Henry Pfeiffer Chapel (1942); named Stanly County Man of the Year (1936).
Mr. Chi Waggoner
President of Pfeiffer Junior College 1943-53
Achievements: Construction of Mitchell Gym; significant endowment growth, curricular improvements for transfer and terminal programs for liberal, commercial, and industrial arts and home economics.
Dr. J. Lem Stokes II
President of Pfeiffer Junior College 1953-55; President of Pfeiffer College 1955-68
Achievements: Presided over the first commencement after Pfeiffer became a four-year institution. Construction of Harris Science Building; Stokes Student Center; G.A. Pfeiffer Library; Kluftinger, Foote, Plyler, Vaughn and Ervin Halls and James Apartments. Pfeiffer recognized as one of the fastest-growing private colleges in the country (1955-58); second college to receive accreditation on its first application from the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (1957); voted by University Senate of the Methodist Church to membership (1960). Stokes resigned in Oct. 1968 to lead the 1968-72 Quadrennial Emphasis of the United Methodist Church: A New Church in a New World.
Dr. Jack J. Early
President of Pfeiffer College 1968-71
Achievements: Construction of Merner Health and Physical Education Center.
Dr. Douglas R. Sasser
President of Pfeiffer College 1971-78
Achievements: Grew endowment to $2.3 million; led the Circle of Faith campaign, which generated $7.5 million for scholarships, faculty development and on-campus programs; established three endowed chairmanships. Charlotte campus opened with undergraduate studies in criminal justice. Following his time at Pfeiffer, Dr. Sasser was named the first layman president of Scarritt College (1978).
Dr. Cameron West
President of Pfeiffer College 1978-88
Achievements: Professor of Education at Pfeiffer 1956-60 and Academic Dean 1960-66; served as president of North Carolina Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and helped found the National Association of Independent Colleges; Grace and Cameron West Art Gallery/Misenheimer Campus named in his honor; named honorary member of the Pfeiffer class of 1966, honorary alumnus and awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Pfeiffer. After retiring from Pfeiffer, served as interim president of Brevard College; was instrumental in the creation of the North Carolina Legislative Tuition Grant, which has enabled hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians to afford higher education at the state's independent colleges and universities.
Dr. Zane Eargle
President of Pfeiffer University1988-98
Achievements: Led the transition in Pfeiffer’s status from college to university and the related extension of programs to surrounding areas, most notably, Charlotte. Created with Richard Petty and served as honorary campaign chairman for the Legacy of Tomorrow campaign. Other accomplishments include serving as superintendent of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system and as associate dean, School of Education, UNC Chapel-Hill.
Dr. Charles Ambrose
President of Pfeiffer University 1998-2010
Achievements: Led the 21st Century Transformation Plan, designed to improve the Misenheimer campus; renovation of Mitchell Gym (now Knapp Center), Jane Freeman Hall, Henry Pfeiffer Chapel, Stokes Student Center, Administration Building, Cline and Washington Halls; construction of Harris Science Annex and New Hall. Strengthen ties between Pfeiffer and the United Methodist Church, with a focus for Pfeiffer to be recognized as “the model church-related institution preparing servant leaders for lifelong learning”. Opened Francis Center for Servant Leadership (2000); created connections with AmeriCorps; established Bonner Leaders program.
- Compiled by Jonathan Hutchinson, university archivist
Office of the President
When Dr. Charles (Chuck) Ambrose was recruited to become the eighth president of Pfeiffer University in 1998, he was only 36-years-old. This distinction made him the youngest serving president of a college or university in North Carolina.
Since that time, Dr. Ambrose's leadership has contributed to the development of many new academic programs and initiatives at Pfeiffer, a private, liberal arts institution with a rich legacy and fervent affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Pfeiffer operates an undergraduate campus in Misenheimer, located in central North Carolina. The university also operates two urban campuses in Charlotte and the Research Triangle Park area to serve the needs of working adults through evening, online and weekend graduate and undergraduate studies. Pfeiffer also has several satellite sites across North Carolina.