Philanthropist and Businesswoman Gail Miller to Speak at 2020 Commencement


OREM, Utah — Gail Miller, owner of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies and chair of the Board of Directors of the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation, will give the keynote address at Utah Valley University's 79th commencement exercises, to be held April 30, 2020. Commencement begins at 6:30 p.m. in the UCCU Center on the Orem Campus. Convocations of UVU's colleges and schools will be held the next day, Friday, May 1, at various campus venues and times.

 "Gail Miller is a powerful and influential business leader dedicated to cultivating communities, sharing success, and creating opportunities for people to build better lives," said Astrid S. Tuminez, president of Utah Valley University. "We know her message will resonate with our students, and we hope it will inspire them to utilize their education and influence to create better lives for themselves while benefiting others."  

 During commencement, UVU will bestow honorary doctoral degrees upon three outstanding individuals: Miller will receive an honorary doctorate of business; Daniel W. Campbell, former chair of the Utah State Board of Regents, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters; and Dave Ulrich, business professor, management consultant, and author, will receive an honorary doctorate of letters.

 Miller and her late husband, Larry, turned a single Toyota dealership in 1979 into an organization with more than 60 car dealerships throughout the West. The Miller organization includes the Utah Jazz, the Salt Lake City Stars, the Salt Lake Bees, theatre complexes, and a variety of other automotive, financial, and real estate companies. Today, the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies employs more than 10,000 people.

 Gail and Larry created a strong legacy of giving back to the communities in which they do business. She presides over the Larry H. Miller Education Foundation and the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, which support a wide range of charitable, educational, and humanitarian causes.

 She is a champion of education and believes in its power to elevate lives. In her childhood, Miller experienced extreme poverty but said the challenges cultivated creativity and resiliency, and gave her confidence. She encourages others to use their strengths to realize their dreams, to learn all they can, and to share that knowledge with others. In 2018, Miller published the book "Courage to Be You: Inspiring Lessons From an Unexpected Journey." 

 "Graduation is the accomplishment of a remarkable educational journey and a celebration of a tremendous achievement. It is also the beginning of a future of lifelong learning and the ability to give back," Miller said. "It is an honor to share this milestone with Utah Valley University's graduating class of 2020."

 Miller gives freely of her time and is actively involved in many civic and educational endeavors. She serves as the chair of Intermountain Healthcare's Board of Trustees and as a member of the Shelter the Homeless Board and the Zions Bank Advisory Board.

 Gail Miller has been recognized with many public honors, including the Salt Lake Chamber's highest award, "A Giant in Our City," and the internationally recognized ATHENA Award.

 Miller enjoys spending time with her husband Kim Wilson, their children, and great-grandchildren.



 About Utah Valley University

 Utah Valley University is one of a few higher education institutions in the nation that offer an integrated dual-mission model, combining the rigor and richness of a first-rate teaching university with the openness and vocational programs of a community college. UVU’s unique model, which focuses on student success, engaged learning, rigorous academic programs, and faculty-mentored research, is transforming higher education by making it more affordable and accessible to students of all backgrounds.