Biography of Milton Reese Merrill

Portrait of Milton R. Merrill
Portrait of Milton Reese Merrill (USU Special Collections & Archives, P0420, Box 1, Folder 1, Item 40)
Milton R. Merrill speaking at Commencement
Milton R. Merrill speaking at Commencement, 1965 (USU A-board 1756)
Milton R. Merrill teaching an American foreign policy class, 1969
Milton R. Merrill teaching class in American foreign policy, 1969. Photo taken by Richard Haycock (USU A-board 0213b).

Milton Reese Merrill was born on April 3, 1901, in Richmond, Utah, the son of Loren A. and Laura Merrill. In 1926 he married Bessie while he was teaching at the LDS Seminary of the high school in Logan. Merrill obtained his BS from Utah State Agricultural College (USAC), then his MA and PhD from Columbia University. In 1969, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Utah State University (USU), an honor he proudly accepted.

In the spring of 1927, Milton was asked to take over the USU publicity from a faculty member who was retiring. At the start of fall quarter, he was hired on full time since a replacement had not been found. So started a long career at USU. From 1927 to his retirement in 1971, Dr. Merrill served as Director of Public Relations (1927–1931); Instructor in History; Assistant, Associate, and Professor of Political Science (1932–65); Director of the College for the Army Air Force Training Program (1942–44); Assistant to the President (1938–42); Director of Correspondence and Extension Classes (1940–45); Assistant Director, Director, and Dean of Summer School (1939–50); Dean of the School of Commerce, later the College of Business and Social Sciences (1950–59). From 1959 to 1965 he also served as USU’s first vice president under Daryl Chase.

Dr. Merrill was very popular at USU, both with students and faculty. He was both a Phi Kappa Phi and a Pi Sigma Alpha. All were saddened by his passing in 1971 at age seventy.

Edited from the biographical note found in the Milton Merrill Papers Finding Aid.