What Key Md. Constituencies Are Saying About Mike Miller

Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. share a laugh at the opening of the University of Maryland Research Park in 2004. Maryland State Archives Photo.

Often, when a prominent Maryland political figure dies, Maryland Matters publishes a roundup of statements from fellow political leaders.

The death Friday of Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., who was state Senate president for a record-shattering 33 years, brought an outpouring of praise and grief from several generations of politicians. 

But it also brought tributes from key constituencies and interest groups whose causes he championed through the years. We bring you a sampling of their comments:

Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker:

The ongoing restoration of the Chesapeake Bay wouldn’t have been possible without a leader like Sen. Miller. From his home in Chesapeake Beach, he established a kinship with the Bay. During his time leading the Senate, he stewarded landmark legislation to create the Bay Restoration Fund, establish oyster sanctuaries, and create the next group of Bay leaders through the Conservation Corps Program. Mike Miller was a great Marylander. He loved history, and he loved the Bay.

University System of Maryland:

The University System of Maryland (USM) joins leaders and citizens across the state in mourning the passing of Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. “Mike” Miller.

There is no elected official in Maryland who meant more to our system of public higher education than Sen. Miller. He was a passionate advocate for both access and excellence, knowing that high-quality education is meaningless if its doors are shut to those who would most benefit.

It is not hyperbole to say his leadership has made the University System of Maryland what it is today—a strong, resilient, and dynamic organization that has gotten better and better at opening access to college and making it more affordable; better at serving Maryland’s students and improving their completion rates; better at preparing graduates for fulfilling careers and high-demand industries; better at creating the innovations that improve quality of life; and better at growing the state’s economy so that all Marylanders—including those who have never visited a USM campus—benefit from the work we do.

It was Sen. Miller’s vision and dogged work that created the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership between the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park. That partnership has paid enormous dividends—in education, research, entrepreneurship, and economic development—since its inception. It will place the two institutions, together, in the top tier of U.S. research universities, public and private alike. And it has become a model for interinstitutional collaboration that makes the University System stronger than the sum of its parts.

There is no one so directly connected with Maryland’s strength and progress as Sen. Miller, and education is but one sector on which his influence will be felt for generations. But those of us dedicated to Maryland’s public universities will never forget what he has done for our students, because we see his impact every day in their ambitions and their success.

Maryland State Teachers Association:

Generations of Marylanders have benefitted, and will continue to benefit, from President Emeritus Miller’s abiding belief in the power of education to change lives and improve our state and society.

He recognized that education is the great equalizer, pushed for support and equitable opportunities for all students, and led the passage of two landmark education programs, the Bridge to Excellence and the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

His deep appreciation for history always reminded us of the roles we play & the legacies which we must live up to and build upon. He leaves an incredible legacy after a lifetime of service, leadership, & unwavering dedication to our state. Thank you, President Emeritus Miler.

Maryland Hospital Association:

President Miller was a champion for health care in our state. We will always be thankful for his work to stabilize the industry following changes to the Affordable Care Act and his leadership passing landmark legislation to curb opioid misuse.

Common Cause Maryland:

His leadership will be missed as he understood the need for reforms that would help strengthen democracy in the state. Thank you for your 50 years of service to the people of Maryland.

University of Maryland football coach Michael Locksley:

I am devastated to hear of the passing of my dear friend Senator Thomas V Mike Miller. I can’t thank you enough for your faith in me & unwavering support of the Terps. You were a fearless leader & an embodiment of the Terrapin Way. Rest In Peace to our biggest fan.