Robert Mills, the 20th president of Georgetown College, died Jan. 16 of complications from pneumonia. He was 89.
Dwight Moody, Georgetown’s dean of the chapel and a 1972 Georgetown graduate, remembered Mills as “the leading figure for Baptists in Kentucky during his tenure.”
Mills was Georgetown’s longest-serving president, leading the school from 1959 to 1978. During his tenure, he oversaw construction of Asher Science Center, Cralle Student Center and the school’s south campus, primarily made up of residence halls.
Eric Fruge, a Georgetown student in the early’70s and now the college’s capital campaign director, reflected on Mills’ accessibility to students and others.
“He was not pretentious at all,” Fruge recalled. “You could just go to his office and talk.”
Retired Georgetown College music professor Danny Tilford said he first got to know Robert and Millie Mills as a Georgetown senior in 1956, when Tilford was organist at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington.
Describing the couple as role models, Tilford noted, “The MIllses helped mold our lives more than any other couple-marriage, parenting, integrity, spiritual values.”
Before being elected Georgetown’s president, Mills worked for the Kentucky Department of Education, was registrar and dean of admissions at the University of Kentucky and chairman of the department of educational administration at the University of Texas. A native of Erlanger, he held three degrees from the University of Kentucky.
Mills funeral service was held Jan. 20 in Georgetown’s John L. Hill Chapel. Survivors include his wife, Mildred, and three children.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Robert and Millie MIlls Scholarship Endowment at Georgetown College.