Tulsa Alumnus Inducted into HS Sports Hall of Fame
By Olivia Indelicato
James D. “Jim” Miller (Mu–Tulsa ’63) was inducted into the Edison High School Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Alumni at the first annual Edison Prep Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony on September 11, 2019. Jim is one of three inaugural inductees, alongside former Tulsa mayor Susan Savage, and Spencer Tillman, a current TV sports commentator and co-captain of the San Francisco 49ers during their victory in Super Bowl XXIV. Jim’s induction into the Hall of Fame marks the creation of the Edison Foundation, a privately-operated organization to assist the public school through funding. The Hall of Fame is meant to “motivate students about future careers and future opportunities.” Just two weeks later, on September 26, 2019, Jim was inducted into the TU Collins College of Business Hall of Fame. The Business Hall of Fame annually honors the widespread contributions of outstanding Tulsa business leaders who shape and strengthen the university, community, and economy. Jim’s induction into these two Halls of Fame adds to his growing list of accomplishments and distinctions.
Jim Miller grew up in Tulsa and graduated from The University of Tulsa in 1966, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order’s Mu Chapter. Miller explained that his experience with Kappa Alpha Order was a major part of his experience at TU and has remained a major positive factor in his life. For the first time in his life, he served in leadership roles, including House Manager, Treasurer, and eventually President of the Mu Chapter. He explained that during his sophomore year at TU, the Mu Chapter was in a financial hole. It was necessary for him to learn to work with vendors and other creditors in order to develop payment plans to dig the chapter out of debt. He also honed his problem-solving skills while interacting with the Dean of Students and other fraternities in order to solve the various issues that arose throughout his years at TU. Miller is still in contact with several of his Kappa Alpha brothers, including Gary Yeck, who introduced him when he was inducted into the University of Tulsa Collins College Business Hall of Fame. Miller also helped induct a model initiate at TU in the 1980’s, and continues to stay involved through tailgates with younger KA alumni and current TU students.
Upon graduation, Miller went on to have an incredibly successful career at the Tulsa office of international public accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP (Andersen). He was promoted to manager in 1970 and in 1973 transferred to Lisbon, Portugal where he oversaw the office in its startup phase. Miller transferred back to Tulsa in 1975 and was admitted to the worldwide partnership of Anderson in 1977. He was appointed head of the audit division in 1979, and managing partner of the Tulsa office in 1985. In 1993, Miller was then named managing partner of the Oklahoma/Northwest Arkansas practice of Andersen, a position he held until he retired in 2000. While with Andersen, he participated in its growth from the smallest “Big 8” accounting firm to the largest not only in Tulsa but across the globe. Miller was also Andersen’s most experienced planner in its audit practice review group, and led teams in reviews of audit practices across the U.S. and around the world.
Miller’s advice to students interested in pursuing a career in accounting is to study hard, make good grades, and learn to work in teams, since he believes teamwork is an incredibly important skill in business. He advises students to research where they would like to work, and to seriously consider starting in public accounting, as it is helpful regardless if students would like to stay in the public sector or transfer to the private sector. He explained that the learning curve in the first three to six years in public accounting is really good, and gives young accountants a huge advantage as they progress in their careers.
Miller’s service to his alma mater includes leadership roles such as President for the TU Alumni Association, the Executive Advisory Board of the Collins College of Business, the Golden Hurricane Club, the Past Presidents’ Council of the TU Alumni Association of the TU Conference of Accountants. He has also served on the National Board of the TU Alumni Association, and TU’s Board of Trustees. Miller was President of the Board of Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Leadership Tulsa, American Red Cross of Oaks Country Club and the Summit Club. In addition, he served on the boards of Leadership Oklahoma, the National Association for Community Leadership and several others. In 2002 Miller was named a Distinguished Alumnus of TU, and received a Centennial Citation. Miller currently resides in Tulsa, and has remained active in his activities serving his alma mater. He explained that the most rewarding part of staying so involved with TU is that he gets to see the University develop and move forward in a positive manner, even throughout difficult times.