Gannon Alumnus Gary Miller Makes a Meaningful Contribution to a Memorable Place
Posted: April 11, 2017
As the site of commencement and convocation ceremonies, concerts
and performances, buzzer-beating shots and conference championship
celebrations, the Hammermill Center, perhaps more than any other
building on the Gannon University campus, is built of memories.
From his front-row seat facing the Gannon bench, Gary Miller has
been witness to as many of those memories as anyone. Now he has
In honor of a gift of $750 thousand to support the modernization
of the Hammermill Center, the storied hardwood within will now be
known as Gary Miller Court. Through his gift, the Hammermill Center
will undergo a complete modernization which will include new locker
room, training facilities for the Gannon teams that utilize the
center. Expansion plans also include a permanent home for the
University Athletics Hall of Fame.
Gary Miller is a 1972 graduate of Gannon University with a
Bachelor of Science in Business degree. His Miller Management Group
operates auto dealerships in Florida and Erie.
Miller has served as a featured speaker at the annual convention
of the National Automobile Dealers Association. He has been a
Gannon Athletic Booster since 1974. He is a member of the
Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and in May 1984 was awarded Gannon
University's Distinguished Alumni Award. In 1997 he received
the University's President Award and served as the first national
president of the Gannon University alumni association. Miller was
named to Gannon University's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
"I have been very fortunate in my career and owe a great deal to
the education I received at Gannon," Miller said. "To be able to
give back to my alma mater in a meaningful way that supports a
program that has meant so much to me and the Erie community was an
opportunity Barbara and I could not pass up."
Miller has long been a supporter of Gannon University athletics
through his membership in the Gannon Golden Knight Club. In 1984,
he created the Gary Miller Classic as a single-game kickoff of the
men's basketball season. In the two-day, four-team format adopted
in 1987, the tournament has become a much-anticipated event on the
local athletic calendar.
"gary Miller's affection for Gannon University has been
unparalleled," said Keith Taylor, Ph.D., Gannon University
president. "We could think of no greater way to thank Gary and
Barbara for their generosity and to honor their support of the
University than to make Gary's name an important part of a place
that he knows and loves so much."
"We cannot begin to thank Gary and Barbara Miller enough for
their generosity and continued support of Gannon athletics," said
Gannon University athletic director Lisa Goddard McGuirk. "Gary is
passionate about Gannon athletics, particularly basketball, and I
am delighted that student-athletes, coaches and our fans will be
able to enjoy competition on the Gary Miller Court for years to
The Hammermill Center has been the home of Golden Knights since
the 1949-50 season. The Gannon acrobatics and tumbling, competitive
cheer, wrestling and volleyball programs also compete at the
Gannon greats such as Glen Summors, Butch Warner, Gerald Walker
and Kyle Goldcamp, have had some of their finest moments on this
court. The court has also been host to some of the nation's best
basketball players, including NBA Hall of Fame member Julius
Erving, and coaches, including University of Michigan head coach
John Beilein, and former head coaches such as John Chaney, John
Thompson and Dom Roselli.
The venerable building has many times been cited by opposing
coaches as one of the toughest places for a visiting basketball
team to win in direct recognition of Gannon's storied basketball
tradition and devoted fans.
Gannon's men's basketball team has won more than 800 games in
the Hammermill Center, and Gary Miller has seen many of those wins.
Now he'll have something else to see from his front-row seat,
painted in big, bold letters: Gary Miller Court.