Anthony Miller, professor of law, was announced as one of the 2009 recipients of the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence on Oct. 2 during the University Faculty Conference. President Andrew K. Benton and Provost Darryl Tippens presented the awards with Jay Brewster, chair of the Howard A. White committee, during the conference luncheon.
The award, named in honor of Pepperdine's fifth president who served the University as teacher and administrator for almost 30 years, is given to full-time faculty members each year in recognition of their distinguished record of teaching excellence.
Miller's remarkable record of teaching includes 32 years of service at Pepperdine University School of Law. He has taught Torts, Remedies, Constitutional Law-Individual Rights, Family Law, Community Property, Domestic Relations Dispute Resolution, Labor Law, Public Sector Labor Law, International Commercial Arbitration, and Arbitration Practice. He has published in the areas of family law and labor and employment law.
He earned his JD from Pepperdine and his MA and BA from California State University, Long Beach.
"I first started teaching in my junior year of college when I answered a typewritten notice on a college bulletin board for a teacher's aide at a local high school," remembers Miller. "After I graduated from college, I became a high school English teacher before deciding to go to law school. I had no idea that when I graduated from law school I would have the good fortune to end up teaching law school, and for that good fortune I am very much indebted to former Dean Ronald Philips and two professors of mine, Wayne Estes and Charles Nelson, both of whom, like Dr. White, were wonderful teachers. Thirty-two years later I am still teaching, and I must say that I enjoy the company of my students and the pleasure of teaching law more every year."
Miller believes that good teaching requires that the teacher address the students with love and respect. "This is a corollary of the great commandment of my faith and, I believe, of every faith," he explains. "In teaching, it means listening to students, sincerely trying to do what is best for them, demanding rigor in their thought and study, respecting them when they refuse to conform, supporting them when they do not do well, and sharing their joy when they succeed."
Howard A. White Award recipients are selected by members of the Committee for Teaching Excellence. The committee identified twenty finalists for the award based upon their review of the hundreds of nominations submitted by alumni, students, faculty, and staff. The recipients were selected after consideration of additional information submitted by and about each of the finalists.
During a career at Pepperdine that spanned almost 30 years, Howard A. White served as a history professor, a respected scholar, a gifted administrator, and a faithful steward of the University's mission. His life's work at Pepperdine as a teacher, scholar, and administrator exemplifies the commitment of the University and its faculty to students and to teaching and learning.