University of Southern Indiana

Berger Lecture topic is school integration, then and now

Berger Lecture topic is school integration, then and now

3/14/2014 | University Communications

The University of Southern Indiana’s History Department is sponsoring the 2014 Berger Lecture and will host Mattie Miller, Evansville’s first female African-American teacher at an all-white school, on campus on Wednesday, March 19.

Miller will present “Integration Experiences in Public Education Then and Now” at 4 p.m. in Rice Library’s lower level auditorium (RL 0017).

Miller taught at the all-white Harper Elementary School in 1960, spent her entire career as an educator, and served as a guidance counselor, assistant principal and principal during her tenure with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. 

She earned the Sagamore of the Wabash award from the state of Indiana for her service to youth in the state and was named a Lilly Endowment Leadership Education Fellow. For six years, she was with the National Education Association, elected by teachers to represent them in Washington, D.C.

She has participated in educational study tours of schools in Paris, Brittany and Lyon, France; five countries in West Africa; and Saskatchewan, Canada. She served as president of the Vanderburgh County Retired Educators and as an adjunct instructor of English at Ivy Tech Community College. She is active in Liberty Baptist Church and is a volunteer with students in grades 1 through 12 through the tutoring and mentoring program there. For 20 years she served as President Reagan’s appointee to the United States Selective Service Draft Appeals Board for District 43 in Evansville, where she served as chair of the board.

A Tennessee native, Miller received her undergraduate degree from Tuskegee Institute, master's degree in education from Indiana University, and counseling and administration certification from University of Evansville and Indiana University.

Miller was the community representative on the 1994 USI presidential search committee and is a former University of Southern Indiana Foundation Board member. She also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from USI in 2006.

The Berger Lecture Series remembers and honors Sydney Berger, who was one of Evansville’s most respected attorneys. He worked with local labor and civil rights organizations and taught at USI for nearly two decades. The College of Liberal Arts celebrates the values he cherished by having a speaker each year speak on the theme of civil rights or civil liberties.

For more information, contact Dr. Anya King, assistant professor of history, at or 812/464-1754.

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