SWCC Alumni Office
2015 Spring Graduation
2014-2015 SWCC DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS AWARD
Southwest Virginia Community College’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2014-2015 is Dr. Scott Miller, the son of Cecil and Audrey Miller from Honaker, VA. Miller’s dad was a coal miner for 28 years and saw all three of his sons become college graduates. He says his dad’s message was always clear, “Study hard so you don’t have to work hard.”
His dad’s positive influence was felt throughout Miller’s life. He moved back home in 1998 from Richmond, Virginia after his mother phoned to say his father had a terminal illness. He returned to his childhood home to spend the last years of his father’s life, continuing to learn what the true meaning of what life is all about. He remembers going with his dad one winter to take some coal to someone he didn’t even know but he knew they needed help to heat their home. Miller says he thinks of his dad every time he is able to help others in need. His purpose will always be to make his father proud of what he taught him.
That desire propelled Miller into a successful dental surgery career. Miller was the first college graduate on both sides of his family and the first to break a coal mining work legacy. The proudest day of his life was in February 2001 when his dad and mother were able to see him open his own Prosthodontic Dental Practice in Bristol, VA. However, his academic journey had begun almost two decades earlier.
Miller’s education started at Honaker High School where he earned his diploma in 1983. He graduated from Southwest Virginia Community College in 1985. He then transferred to Virginia Tech where he graduated in 1987. After working as a lab technician in local hospitals, he was accepted to dental school in 1991. He received a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree with honors and then completed a residency in Prosthodontics for Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical School of Virginia Dental School in 1997. He is currently one of two Prosthodontists between Roanoke, Virginia and Knoxville, Tennessee.
In addition to lecturing for two implant companies and serving on several professional dental boards, Miller is co-director of the Denture Team for the Virginia Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy projects. This team is comprised of volunteer dentists and lab technicians from within the state. These projects treat the uninsured and underinsured from our area and many other states. He is also the Director of Clinical Research and Training for the Benchmark Denture Manufacturing Company which he also owns with three other partners.
“Dr. Miller represents our students in so many ways,” said Phyllis Roberts, vice president of institutional advancement. “He is a son of this region, where a connection to coal runs deep in families. Encouraged by his father, a coal miner, Dr. Miller set professional goals and met them. We commend him for that and for remaining in the southwest region of Virginia, where his roots run deep.”
Miller resides in Bristol, Virginia with his wife, Valeria, and two daughters, Cassidy and Chloe. Tanner, his son, is a community college graduate, as well, and is finishing his degree at the University of Baltimore. Miller is a champion of his community and of Southwest Virginia Community College.