Boise State University will award an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Robert G. Miller during the morning spring commencement ceremony, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5, in Taco Bell Arena.
Honorary doctoral degrees are awarded by Boise State University to recognize individuals of outstanding accomplishment in scholarship, creativity, public service, education or contributions to human welfare. Miller has earned this degree through a lifetime of dedication to serving customers and providing opportunities for thousands to flourish under his leadership.
Miller has worked in retail since 1961, when he began his career as a bottle sorter at a grocery store. He worked his way up, serving in roles of greater and greater responsibility first at Albertsons Inc., then at Fred Meyer, Rite Aid and Wild Oats. In 2006, following the sale of Albertsons Inc. to three separate buyers, he returned to lead Albertsons LLC.
Twelve years later, Miller has grown the company from a strong chain of 192 stores across seven states into Albertsons Companies, which operates over 2,300 stores under more than 20 banners in 35 states and the District of Columbia. He continues to serve as chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
When he took the helm of Albertsons LLC in 2006, the 600-plus stores they acquired were in deep distress. In his prior time at Albertsons Inc., Miller had opened a lot of those stores and he knew that they could be profitable and provide great jobs to the communities they served. With an eye toward saving jobs and running good grocery stores, he assembled an unparalleled leadership team. Together, they led one of the biggest turnarounds in food and drug retail history. Miller’s leadership, business acumen and philanthropy have helped build a rarified career in the retail industry. His four keys to his success — work hard, tell the truth, treat people right and believe in others — are instrumental in his approach to both career and community.
In 1994, Financial World magazine recognized Miller as the Chief Executive Officer of the Year in the retail food category, and in 2012 he received the Horatio Alger Award, an honor given to individuals whose courage and determination allowed them to achieve success in their fields despite the challenges they encountered early in life. Honorees possess a strong commitment to philanthropy and contribute to the Horatio Alger Association’s mission, which is to provide scholarships for highly motivated but economically disadvantaged young people. Upon receiving the award, Miller donated $250,000 to the Horatio Alger Foundation to fund 50 scholarships designated for Boise State students over 10 years.
In 2014, Miller was awarded the first Boise State Champion of Commerce Award, which is given to a business person who has demonstrated exemplary ethics, community leadership and social responsibility in leadership decisions throughout his or her career.