Jim DeMint
U.S. Senator, South Carolina
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Roger Milliken Day Well Deserved
Posted by Mark Cothran 11/09/2008 - 02:44:23 PM
This past week, Wofford College held its first “Roger Milliken Day” on campus in Spartanburg. A ceremony was held on the lawn of the newly named Roger Milliken Science Center. Milliken has served 48 years on Wofford's board of trustees and led the initiative to transform the campus into an arboretum that was named for him last week. Each year, another tree will be planted on the lawn sometime close to October 24th which is Mr. Milliken’s birthday. Roger Milliken may have turned 93 years old last week but he still serves as Chairman of the Board for Milliken & Company and the Chairman of the Greenville Spartanburg International Airport Commission. Most people across South Carolina are familiar with Milliken the company but not everyone may be familiar with Milliken the man.

Roger Milliken

Roger Milliken is still very active in the community and is truly a living legend in South Carolina. To get a better understanding of Roger Milliken’s positive impact on our state, we should take a quick look at Roger Milliken’s distinguished professional career (Info provided by SC Business Hall of Fame):

Roger Milliken was born October 24, 1915, in New York, the son of Gerrish and Agnes Gayley Milliken. He graduated from Groton School in 1933 and received a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University in 1937.

Through Mr. Milliken's leadership and passion for innovation and research, Milliken & Company has become one of the largest and most successful textile and chemical manufacturing companies in the world. Spartanburg-based Milliken & Company, one of the world's largest privately held companies, manufactures thousands of products, among them finished fabrics for uniforms and spacesuits, as well as textiles for tennis balls, napery items, automotive fabrics, and sails. Milliken Carpet is a world leader in the production of rugs and carpets for residential, commercial, and institutional uses. The company also makes specialty chemicals that are used in dyes, plastics, and petroleum products.

Milliken's roots go back to 1865 when Seth Milliken and William Deering founded Deering Milliken Company, a small woolen fabrics jobbing firm in Portland, Maine. Deering left the company a few years later and started the Deering Harvester Company, which is today known as Navistar. In 1868, Seth Milliken moved the company headquarters to the city of New York, at that time the heart of the American textile industry. In 1884, the company invested in a new facility in Pacolet, South Carolina, and from that basic beginning the manufacturing operations grew.

In 1945, the Deering Milliken Research Trust was established in Clemson, South Carolina, by Roger Milliken; its headquarters were moved to Spartanburg in 1958, and it was later renamed Milliken Research Corporation. Dedicated to technological advances through research, the center is the largest and most productive research organization in the world. Milliken has accumulated more than 1,500 patents.

Mr. Milliken has served as a trustee of Wofford College, Spartanburg Day School, and the South Carolina Foundation of Independent Colleges. A former president of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, he is a member of the advisory boards of Brookgreen Gardens and the Institute for Political Economy

He has received honorary degrees from Clemson University, Wofford College, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, Converse College, Brenau College, The Citadel, University of South Carolina at Spartanburg, LaGrange College, and Furman University.

Milliken entered the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1985, in April of 2000 he was inducted into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame, and in 2001, he was inducted into the American Textile Hall of Fame.

Nearly everyone from the Upstate of SC knows of Mr. Milliken. I think that it is important to quickly highlight this extraordinary man to some of Senator DeMint’s other constituents who live outside of the Upstate and may not be familiar with the man behind the company.

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Regional Director
Mark Cothran

105 North Spring St
Suite 109
Greenville, SC 29601
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P: 864-233-5366
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About the Regional Director
Mark Cothran was born and raised in the Upstate of South Carolina and proudly represents the senator in the 4th Congressional District. Mark, a 2000 graduate of Clemson University (a.k.a. "God's Country"), is an avid Tiger fan and cannot be reached on football Saturdays. Mark resides in Greenville with his wife, son and their 82 lb. chocolate Labrador.
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