While doling out money as a workstudy student in the Dean of Students office, Roger Millay stumbled upon his lifelong career. There, Millay (English Language and Literature ’79) was in charge of one of the many unique things about the University’s honor system: the honor loan. He made $50 loans to cash-strapped students, kept the books and did the banking.
Even though he was a words guy, he discovered he liked the number stuff. So he dabbled in a couple of classes in the Commerce School. Now, Roger is the chief financial officer for global consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide.
“That’s how I ended up in the job I’m in—because I ran the honor loan fund,” he says.
He concedes that a master’s degree in accounting has helped boost his résumé, but also believes that his undergraduate degree, though atypical for his profession, is an invaluable asset. His liberal arts education made Millay “a lifelong learner,” he says. “It opened doors.”
Millay and his wife, Robin (English Language and Literature ’80), believe that college is a time to discover intellectual passions. That’s why they give to the College of Arts & Sciences, so the University can continue to inspire students as academics and thinkers without worrying about state funding restraints.
“I concluded at some point that the University is a national asset, I think particularly when the issues came up about state funding,” says Robin, a teacher and reading specialist currently working at The American University. “We think U.Va. is such a special place. Our experiences there gave us so much and now the same magic is happening for our daughters.”
The couple’s eldest daughter, Kristin, followed in her parents’ footsteps as an English major at the University and is going on to law school, also at U.Va. Their youngest, Kelsey, is currently in the College and considering a major in history and a minor in dance. While some parents might push their children to pursue something “more practical,” the Millays encourage their daughters to expand their horizons during their undergrad years.
The Arts & Sciences Annual Fund helps make a difference for those who study, teach and perform in the College community. Gifts to the Annual Fund help give the College the resources to attract leading teachers and scholars, making it possible for new generations of students to enjoy the outstanding liberal arts education for which the College is known.