Remembering Bill Miklas 2001

Rick Jackson and Merv Daub, BCom'66
profile from 2001

Rick Jackson and Merv Daub

During his 37 years at Queen's School of Business, both as professor of statistics and leader in the School's administration, Bill was - to return a compliment that he used so frequently - "outstanding" in both roles. He was passionately committed to making the mysteries of statistics accessible to students, using his sense of humour, hard work, continual upgrading of materials and teaching methods, and lots of time and energy. His students recognized this and honoured him for it. After being nominated several times, he received the Commerce Society Teaching Excellence Award in 1996. His reaction was so typically Miklas, the statistician: "With enough trials, even a low-likelihood event is bound to happen eventually."

More than any other member of faculty, people associate Bill Miklas with leadership and administration in the School. As associate dean for 14 years and acting dean on two occasions, Bill essentially ran the internal operations of the school.

Bill was passionate about Gaels football, playing as an undergraduate and later as a coach for over 40 years, the longest in Queen's history. There's no doubt that Bill Miklas manifested two dramatically different personae: kind, gentle, modest, self-effacing as teacher in the classroom and as associate dean in the school, yet aggressive, competitive, even menacing around football. While accurate in one sense, these really were just different manifestations of the same quality: the passion to do his best and to help others do their best. Upon his passing, the Commerce Society and the School of Business established an award in his honour, to be awarded to a Commerce student who demonstrated academic excellence and leadership, with particular emphasis on leadership in varsity sports.