From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Miller, Andrew

(born: 1906  -  died: 1985) 

Andrew Miller was the first African American to graduate from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), he earned a master's degree in June of 1958. The following note comes from EKU library associate Sarah Adams, 02/12/2016 - - "In addition to this, [EKU] President O'Donnell's papers contain the correspondence between himself and Andrew Miller.  In these letters, Andrew repeatedly asks O'Donnell to speak to the board about allowing African Americans to attend EKU. The Board of Regents finally agreed to integration in March 1956 (per the meeting minutes). Also in March of '56, O'Donnell writes to Miller telling him to come see him to discuss his request." William F. O'Donnell was the fifth president of Eastern Kentucky University, and his papers are available at the Eastern Kentucky Special Collections and Archives. Andrew Miller was a school teacher in Richmond, he was a graduate of Kentucky State Industrial College for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University). He had attended the University of Cincinnati and wanted to complete his master's degree. His attempts to get the EKU president to approach the Board about the admission of African American students started around 1948. With his continued pleading, Andrew Miller was routed to the University of Kentucky since the school had desegregated in 1949. He enrolled and became a student at the University of Kentucky (UK) until 1954 when, due to hardships, it was no longer possible for him to continue at UK. Again, Andrew Miller appealed to EKU President O'Donnell, and in the summer of 1956, he was admitted to EKU. In addition to teaching the 6th grade at the elementary school, Andrew Miller was also a music teacher at Richmond High School; both schools were segregated and for African American children. For 50 years, Andrew Miller was the musician at the First Baptist Church in Richmond. For more see the EKU webpage The Battle of Civil Rights: an Eastern perspective; p.6 in Connections: the Richmond, Kentucky area African-American heritage guide, City of Richmond Tourism & Visitor Center, 1998?; and mention of Andrew Miller in the online interview with Robert R. Blythe, EKU oral history collection. The suggestion for this entry and sources documenting Andrew Miller as the first African American to earn a degree from EKU, came from EKU Special Collections and Archives [Library Associate, Sarah Adams], 02/12/2016.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Connections: the Richmond, Kentucky area African-American heritage guide

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NKAA Entry:  Spann, Ann Roberta Peyton

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Miller, Andrew,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-09-14 21:03:46