WITC-Superior supports late student's family through welding
(12/6/12): WITC President Bob Meyer recently presented a check
for $1,000 to welding graduate Bryan Miller’s parents, Jerry and Cindy
Miller – an act, Meyer says shows how the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical
College family is welded together beyond graduation.
It was in September 2012, when Bryan Miller died
unexpectedly. His father, Jerry Miller, had taken welding classes right beside him
at WITC-Superior five years ago.
“Bryan and Jerry were the only father, son student
combination that I have taught in 12 years at WITC,” says John Palmer, welding
program advisor. “Both were hired directly after graduating from
the welding program in 2007.”
Bryan didn’t stay gone after graduation.
“Bryan was here at WITC practicing for a weld test just a
few weeks before he died," says Palmer. "He was a skilled worker and will be
Upon learning of Bryan’s death, Palmer’s welding class
changed gears – turning an annual fall fundraiser for the Dan Maynard Memorial
Scholarship into a means of support for the Miller family.
“We wanted to show our support for the family,” says
Charles Westman, a student in the program. “It’s a small gesture that can help in
some way. We want them to know that they and Bryan are in our thoughts.”
Seventeen students set aside a few days to put together art
projects that were sold during a silent auction. Palmer says their creativity in
welding showed. Projects featured northern pike, moose antlers and weather
vanes, among other items. WITC-Superior staff also pitched in donations,
allowing the fundraiser to bring in more money than usual.
After the check was passed over to the family, a student
handed Jerry and Cindy a metal sign with “Miller” cut into the center, an art
piece made specifically for them.
“I think I can speak for the whole class when I say, we
wish them the best,” says Westman.