Andy Miller, author of the book, Williamson College of the Trades, spoke about his two years of researching, writing, and, finally, publishing his book on Williamson’s history with Arcadia Publishing to an audience of alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students in the Clara Schrenk Memorial Chapel on Wednesday.
Miller began his work nearly three years ago when President Michael Rounds, who had learned that the Neumann University history instructor had already written a book and was planning to write a second, asked him if he could fit the task of writing Williamson’s history into his busy schedule.
Miller not only said yes, but he wrote the book without pay or leave time from his teaching position. Much of his research was completed with help from Lesley Carey, Williamson’s archivist.
Miller said, “It was an honor to write this book because the Williamson story is one worth knowing.”
He explained how he began with a 240-page manuscript and then asked three publishers if they were interested. He chose Arcadia, a publisher that specializes in brief histories with plenty of photographs. “They told me they wanted the book to be good, accurate, and a book that would sell.”
The publisher gave Miller many short deadlines with much pressure, which he said forced him to stay on top of the project. They also told him they wanted the book to concentrate on the older parts of the school and that he should only go up to the 1970s.
Looking at the audience, Miller said, “I hope I did right by you. There are no more schools like Williamson and the school is amazing. It is great that the school has existed all this time with no federal or state support, only the support of its endowment, alumni, friends, and foundations.”
He said he received no censorship from the school and was free to write the book as he saw fit. “The book is honest and real. You should be proud of your legacy.”
At the conclusion of his talk, Miller moved to the Shrigley Library and autographed copies of the book for many who purchased them.
Williamson is selling the book for $20.00 at various special events, such as Alumni Day and Homecoming, and the College Store, in person or online. It is also available for $21.95 at Arcadia (arcadiapublishing.com), Amazon (Amazon.com), and Barnes & Nobel (BarnesandNoble.com).