Actions of MIT’s 15th president have ‘grown to inspire generations,’ Reif says.
Frank R. Milliken, Life Member Emeritus of the MIT Corporation and former head of the Kennecott Copper Corporation, died of a heart attack December 4, 1991, in Tucson, Arizona, just a few days after he and his wife had moved to Arizona from their home of many years in Darien, Conn. He was 77.
"During the quarter century that he was an active trustee, Frank Milliken was an important part of the MIT leadership organization and was a valued counselor to its president and chairman," Corporation Chairman Paul E. Gray said in a letter to Corporation members. "He was a devoted and generous alumnus and a trustee of extraordinary dedication."
Mr. Milliken, a native of Malden, Mass., received the SB in mining engineering from MIT in 1934. He spent five years as chief metallurgist with the General Engineering Company of Salt Lake City, and 11 years as assistant manager of the Titanium Division of the National Lead Company in New York City.
In 1952 he joined the Kennecott Copper Corporation in New York City as vice president for mining operations, became executive vice president in 1958 and was named president and chief executive officer in 1961. He became chairman of the company in 1978 and retired the following year.
He headed Kennecott when it was the world's largest producer of copper and a leading processor of gold and silver.
He was also chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1976 and 1977, and head of the United Fund of Greater New York in 1970.
Mr. Milliken's association with the MIT Corporation began in 1954 when he became a member of the Visiting Committee for Geology and Geophysics. He was elected a member of the Corporation in 1962, became a Life Member in 1977 and, at his own request, transferred to Life Member Emeritus in 1986.
During his long association with MIT, Mr. Milliken compiled an outstanding record of committee service. At various times he served on all the standing committees, including the Executive, Investment, Membership and Development Committees. He also served on the Auditing Committee, which he chaired from 1970 to 1973, and on the Screening Committee.
His visiting committee service included the committees for the Departments of Chemistry, Earth Sciences (chair from 1980 to 1983), Electrical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Metallurgy (chair from 1962 to 1963 and again from 1965 to 1967) and Metallurgy and Materials Science (chair from 1968 to 1972).
Mr. Milliken is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara Kingsbury Milliken, and two sons, Frank and David.
A version of this article appeared in the January 8, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 16).