Connecting the next generation

Katy A. and Kyle D. Miller ’01 commit $5 million to Cox School of Business expansion and renovation

Their gift will create a place that will kindle productive partnerships and cultivate meaningful connections to fuel the success of the Cox community.

The Millers

Cox building renderingThe Millers’ generous commitment will establish the Katy and Kyle Miller Courtyard, part of the future Cox School renovation and expansion project, which will provide faculty, staff, students and visitors with an open, welcoming environment to exchange ideas, form lifelong friendships and build business associations.

“Kyle embodies all that is great about SMU and the Cox School in particular. His entrepreneurial spirit, ability to tackle grand challenges with grace and determination and his inclusive approach impress everyone he meets,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “SMU is deeply grateful to Katy and Kyle for leading by example and for their ongoing commitment to helping the next generation of business leaders succeed.” 

The new Katy and Kyle Miller Courtyard, an oasis along Bishop Boulevard, will be a place for students, faculty, staff, visitors and corporate partners to gather for lunch, study sessions, discussions and formal events. Enhanced landscaping and seating areas highlight the surrounding historic facades and provide shaded sanctuary. The space features four building entries and a stunning view into the new Commons to the east.

Expected impact

  • Provides welcoming, outdoor space to foster community through dedicated classrooms and a business library reading room.
  • Encourages collaborations to help faculty, students and partners tackle grand challenges.
  • Contributes to the 9-to-9 culture at Cox, where faculty and students are encouraged to spend their days on campus collaborating and making connections.

“We felt it was a privilege to give back to a place that has given us so much,” said Kyle Miller, founder, president and CEO of Silver Hill Energy Partners, LP. “The Cox School gave me the skills I needed to succeed in my career, and Katy and I are excited to pay that gift forward and empower future entrepreneurs and business leaders. We can’t wait to see what future Fortune 500 companies get their start over coffee in the courtyard.” 

The Katy and Kyle Miller Courtyard is part of the Cox renovation and expansion project that will equip Cox School to meet the needs of an ever-changing business landscape. The new Cox facilities will foster educational excellence and collaboration. Through the renovation and expansion project, Cox will further its goals and scope, sparking new developments and taking on new challenges to place it prominently and competitively on the world stage to shape the leadership pipeline and create a culture at Cox, where faculty and students are encouraged to spend their days on campus collaborating and tackling grand challenges. 

“The Miller family has been integral to the growth of the Cox School. We are very proud to count Kyle and his father, David ’72, ’73, among our illustrious alumni,” said Cox School Dean Matthew B. Myers, Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership and David B. Miller Endowed Professor in Business. “We are grateful to Kyle and Katy for their continued commitment to helping our community forge new connections and generate new ideas.”

“The Cox School gave me the skills I needed to succeed in my career, and Katy and I are excited to pay that gift forward and empower future entrepreneurs and business leaders.”
— Kyle Miller ’01, founder, president and CEO of Silver Hill Energy Partners, LP

Kyle D. Miller currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Silver Hill Energy Holdings LLC and Silver Hill Partners, LP, oil and gas investment and operating partnerships based in Dallas. He founded the Silver Hill franchise in 2011 and throughout the last decade led Silver Hill I and II through the successful acquisition, development and disposition of multiple large-scale oil and gas assets. In addition to his leadership roles, Miller also created, managed and sold several midstream and minerals joint ventures that supported the company’s core operating businesses.

Prior to Silver Hill, Miller was a principal and senior vice president of Energy Trust Partners in Dallas, where he led the firm’s business development efforts and assisted in the management and oversight of the firm’s upstream private equity funds. Before Energy Trust, Miller was a vice president at Energy Spectrum Advisors in Dallas, and he began his career with Wells Fargo Bank and Wells Fargo Energy Advisors in Houston, Texas.

Miller received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from SMU in 2001. Miller is a recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumnus award from the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at SMU. He is also an active volunteer and currently serves on the Cox School of Business Executive Board, as well as the boards of Goodwill Industries of Dallas Inc. and the Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

Katy A. Miller was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where she currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the College of Arts and Science. Katy Miller is an active community volunteer in Dallas and also serves on the Children’s Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors and Executive Committee and the Senior Source Board of Directors and is an active volunteer with Goodwill Industries of Dallas. Katy Miller formerly worked at Bank of Texas prior to the birth of her three children, currently ages 10, 8 and 5.

“Kyle and Katy’s passion for SMU and dedication to the Cox School have inspired other young philanthropic Mustangs to give back to the University,” said Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “We are grateful to Kyle and Katy for this wonderful new place that promises to enrich the lives of our students and faculty.” 

This gift is part of SMU’s multiyear, $1.5 billion campaign for impact, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow. As a premier private university, SMU exists to shape future leaders who transform communities and organizations through ingenuity and thoughtful problem-solving. Building on our history of excellence, we launched SMU Ignited to attract and support outstanding students and faculty, to explore new fields and cutting-edge technologies, and to positively impact Dallas and the world beyond.

SMU Fund for Cox

Gifts to the SMU Fund for Cox address the school’s most pressing funding priorities. Allocated at the discretion of the dean, this fund allows the Cox School to meet new opportunities as they arise. Funding priorities include scholarship support, faculty fellowship and research grants, international study and research support, new program development and leadership development opportunities.