Samuel Ginn College of Engineering receives $1 million to establish faculty endowment

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Charles D. and Lisa Q. Miller of Birmingham have donated $1 million to the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University to create a new endowed faculty chair. The philanthropic gift will provide funding to maintain a top faculty member with experience and expertise in engineering and business practices, enabling the college to offer a relevant business foundation to its engineering students.

“I am pleased about what this gift will create for Auburn’s engineering students,” said Charlie. “It will provide them with a solid understanding of business principles and enable them to stand out among their peers in the engineering and business world.”

Charlie Miller, raised in Louisville, Ky., is a 1980 civil engineering graduate of Auburn who also completed the Wharton Executive Program on Financial Management at the University of Pennsylvania. He is executive vice president and global head of distribution for Harbert Management Corporation, or HMC, a position he has held since 2002. Previously, he worked with Harbert Corporation where he played a key role in the firm’s transformation from an operating conglomerate. Prior to joining Harbert, he held various project management positions with Brown & Root in Houston and Venezuela.

Lisa Miller, raised in Buffalo, N.Y., graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She is an active community volunteer, currently serving on the board of the YWCA Central Alabama and as both a Vestry member and Stephen minister at St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church.

Faculty endowments enable Auburn University to recruit educators in key academic and research disciplines by providing resources for competitive salary packages, technology in the classroom, state-of-the-art equipment for research and out-of-the-classroom educational opportunities.

“It is imperative that the College of Engineering attract faculty members who have demonstrated high levels of academic achievement,” said Christopher B. Roberts, Auburn engineering dean. “The Millers’ gift is critical to our ability to support an exceptional faculty and continue our commitment to providing a relevant and practical education.”

Charlie Miller is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association, and he and Lisa are members of the university’s 1856 Society. Through his service on the Auburn University Foundation board of directors since 2010, Charlie has employed his own financial expertise for the benefit of Auburn University and its endowments as a member of the board’s Investment Committee.

Charitable gifts like those made by the Millers in support of Auburn academic programs are received by the Auburn University Foundation on the university’s behalf. To make a tax-deductible, charitable donation to Auburn, visit, or learn more about the full scope of philanthropic opportunities that can benefit the university at

Beth Smith, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, (334) 844-2924,,
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (