"Because I can" were the three words that Kerry Ann Rushin said to her mother when her mother asked her why she wanted to go to the University of Georgia. The 17 year-old was the first of three Black students to be accepted in 1962 and enroll at UGA as a freshman. She graduated in 1966 with a BS degree in mathematics, joining fellow alums Early, Holmes and Hunter-Gault to become the fourth Henry M. Turner High School graduate to attend UGA.

We are excited to share with you that a new scholarship has been established by the Department of Mathematics in honor of Mrs. Kerry Rushin Miller. After graduating from UGA, Mrs. Miller pursued a career in telecommunications. In 1967, she was the second African American woman hired as an engineering associate at the Western Electric regional engineering headquarters in Atlanta, GA. She was selected in 1975 to join the BellSouth management team in Charlotte, NC. Among her many contributions at BellSouth, Mrs. Miller is particularly proud of her leadership role in a workshop on diversity.

In 1994-1995, she participated in the Leadership Charlotte program, which led to her involvement with the Urban League of Central Carolinas. Ms. Miller volunteered with the Urban League starting in 1994, and following her retirement from BellSouth, she worked for the Urban League from 1997 to 2001, when she retired… again. Ms. Miller also participated in programs teaching life skills to children from elementary school through middle school, as well as GED programs for adult learners.

Ms. Miller received many accolades and awards during her 35-year career and for over 50 years of extensive involvement in community service.

  • Junior Achievement — Advisor (1971-72); Hall of Fame (1987-97)
  • Leadership Charlotte — Alumna, Class 16 (1994-95)
  • Urban League of Central Carolinas, Inc., Team Spirit Award (2001)
  • National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. (NANBPWC): member (2005-present), Sojourner Truth Award (2011)

Kerry Rushin Miller's courage has opened the door for generations of students of color at UGA who have followed in her footsteps. To honor Ms. Miller's legacy and her professional accomplishments, the University of Georgia's Department of Mathematics is seeking support of this scholarship in her honor. A gift to this fund will help promote diversity in the department, provide financial aid to undergraduate students in need, and will provide recipients who are asked why they want to go to UGA, the opportunity to say "Because I can!"

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