BY JENNIFER M. MISTHAL
Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 11, 2005
Writing was not the only activity consuming Miller at the University. While living at 411 N. State St., Miller worked at the Wolverine Eating Club, located in Lane Hall. In exchange for free meals, Miller helped prepare food and cleaned up, Brater wrote in his book.
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He also fed stale vegetables to mice daily in Prof. Frank Clark’s genetic lab, a job that earned him $15 a month.
As a member of the class of 1939, Mike Wallace co-editor of “60 Minutes” and a CBS news correspondent recalled Miller’s presence on campus.
“Everybody in Ann Arbor seemed to feel that he was bound to be a successful playwright,” Wallace said, noting the two were merely acquaintances during their time at the University. “He loved Ann Arbor. He really found his way so to speak in Ann Arbor. … He really genuinely loved Ann Arbor — the life, the town, the University.”
After his graduation, the University remained important to Miller. He often returned for Hopwood Award ceremonies and participated in student protest movements during the 1960’s.
“It’s worth saying, arguably, he’s the University of Michigan’s most famous alumnus. His plays have been preformed everywhere
He always gave credit to the University of Michigan as the crucible, the origin of his writing,” Golstein said.
Miller’s first return as an alum was in 1956 when he was honored with a Doctor of Humane Letter. He later participated in a teach-in at the University in 1965, which disrupted classes. Miller’s daughter, Jane, was then a University student.
Miller’s most recent production, “Finishing the Picture,” opened this fall at Chicago’s Goodman Theater, proving the playwright’s tenacity and ambition.
“He always had ongoing projects. God knows what remains in his drawers in Connecticut,” Brater said. “The typical pattern for him was to work on something for quite a long time before he thought it was ready.”