On February 23, 1913, Garland J. Millet, was born in Oakland, California. After high school, the first African-American teacher in the Berkeley public school system tried to convince Garland to attend the University of California, Berkeley, but as a believer in Christian education, Mrs. Millet insisted that Garland attend Pacific Union College, a decision for which he has always thanked and praised his mother. At PUC, he began his lifelong friendships with Elder G. Nathaniel Banks, Mrs. Inez Lang Booth, the late Norman McCleod, and the late Dr. Carl Dent.
Garland graduated from Pacific Union College with a B.A. degree in History in 1934, and an M.A. in 1947. From 1934 to 1936, Professor Millet taught English and Mathematics, and served as a men’s dean, at Oakwood Junior College, where one of his students seemed particularly “outstanding” -- Ursula Bernice Berry, from his home church – Market Street SDA -- in Oakland, California. They were married in 1937.
Garland took his new bride to Washington, D.C., where he served as Principal of the Union Academy from 1937 to 1941. In 1942, he returned to Oakwood as librarian and instructor of English. He next taught in the Los Angeles Academy from 1944 to 1949, followed by five years of pastoring in the Southern California Conference, at the Delaware Avenue and Berean SDA churches. He was ordained to the gospel ministry at Lynwood, California in 1952.
After leaving Oakwood in 1963, Dr. Millet served as consultant for Brown Engineering, and taught classes at Alabama A&M University. In 1965, he received the Ph.D. degree from Vanderbilt University=s George Peabody College. From 1964 to 1966, he served the triple roles of Assistant to the President of Fisk University, as an Associate Professor at Fisk, and as Pastor of the Riverside Chapel SDA Church. From 1967 to 1970, he served as the third African-American editor of the Message Magazine.
At the 1970 General Conference session in Atlantic City, Dr. Millet was elected as the first African-American worker in the Department of Education. He served for eight years as an Associate Director, coordinating overseas higher education evaluations, edited The Journal of Adventist Education, and issued, with supporting committees, (1) a review of SDA nursing education, (2) “Seventh-day Adventist Concepts of Psychology,” and (3) Christian Education—Values Needed Now.” He also served on the Oakwood College Board of Trustees for some 20 years. He was presented with the Department of Education’s highest award, the Medallion of Honor, at the 1990 General Conference Session in Indianapolis.
Garland enjoyed traveling – either for business with the General Conference, or for pleasure with his beloved wife Ursula. Two of the highest points in their travels together was a trip to the 1975 General Conference Session in Vienna, Austria, and another trip to the Hawaiian Islands in 1989, which he considered for them a ‘second honeymoon.’
Dr. Millet lived to see the first African American presidential nominee, and outlasted elevator attendants, streetcar conductors, segregation and the days when a real person used to answer the telephone. He had been married to his beloved “Urs” for 70 years when she passed away on January 13, 2008.
Left to cherish Dr. Millet’s memory are his son Garland F. Millet of Baton Rouge, LA; his daughters Carol (George) Byars of Chattanooga, TN, and Debbe Millet of Huntsville, AL; his sister Ann Roberts of Orinda, CA – and a HOST of friends, former students, golf buddies, and co-workers.
Because of Dr. and Mrs. Millet’s legacy of dedicated service to Oakwood and to the cause of Christian education, the family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Garland J. and Ursula B. Millet Endowed Scholarship Fund at Oakwood University. Contributions may either be made online by clicking this link: https://my.oakwood.edu/ics/Giving_to_OU/Advancement_and_Development.jnz?portlet=Online_Giving
Or mailed to: Oakwood University, Office of Advancement & Development, 7000 Adventist Blvd. NW, Huntsville, AL 35896
Final arrangements have been entrusted to Royal Funeral Home, 4315 Oakwood Avenue, Huntsville, AL 35810. Phone: (256) 534-8481; Fax 256.534.8409. http://www.royalfh.com/index.cfm The Memorial Service is scheduled for Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. at the Oakwood University Church of Seventh-day Adventists.
1 Corinthians 12:25-26 (Amplified Bible)
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