Barbara Block to Give Keynote for Miller Worley Center Dedication

The Mount Holyoke community will celebrate the dedication of the Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Center for the Environment--naming it for the former chair of the MHC Board of Trustees and her husband--with a public lecture and other events on October 28 and 29. The dedication ceremony is scheduled for Friday, October 29 at 5 pm in Dwight Hall.

As part of the celebration, the College will present a Miller Worley Environmental Leadership Lecture featuring Barbara Block, the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professor Chair in Marine Sciences at Stanford University, on Thursday, October 28 at 7:30 pm in Gamble Auditorium. Codirector of the Tuna Research and Conservation Center--the only facility in North America holding bluefin tuna for captive research and exhibit--Block will speak on "Sushi and Satellites: Tracking Ocean Giants across the Globe."

Block and her team helped pioneer the successful development and deployment of electronic tags on tunas, billfishes, and sharks, work that has led to a rapid increase in the understanding of movement patterns, population structure, critical habitats, physiology, and behaviors of pelagic fishes that are also commercially important. Concerned over the possibility of northern bluefin tuna becoming commercially extinct, and armed with the scientific data to improve management, Block teamed with recreational fishers and other scientists to found the Tag-A-Giant Foundation in 2006.

On Friday at 3 pm in Shattuck Hall, Block will meet informally with Five College students as part of the center's environmental leadership and careers conversation series.

The College announced the naming of the center for Leslie Anne Miller '73 (right) and Richard Worley last year in gratitude for a $5 million endowed gift from the couple to support environmental education and programming at Mount Holyoke. The gift is being used to strengthen the center, which was established in 1998, along with environmental education, green campus initiatives, and scholarships and internships for students in environmental science or closely related fields. Specifically, the gift is being allocated for a new interdisciplinary professorship in environmental policy; for an endowment to support the center’s public programs and curricular and cocurricular efforts; and for an endowed fund to support student internships and faculty-advised research experiences involving environmental issues.

"Richard and I are honored to play a part in the Center for the Environment's influence in the life of the College," Miller said when the gift was announced. “We believe this will position Mount Holyoke as a leader in environmental studies and advocacy and help the College fulfill its mission to educate its students to grapple with current pressing concerns. Richard and I see this gift as central to the College’s evolving curriculum that fuses academic rigor with purposeful engagement with real issues.”

The Center for the Environment is dedicated to engaging MHC students more actively in the scientific, social/human, and global dimensions of environmental study. It enables students to make connections across disciplines, across points of view, and across structures that help them understand the concept of "environment" more broadly in their work, community, and lives.

Mount Holyoke has a longstanding and ever-growing commitment to being a green campus. The College is committed to reducing the environmental footprint of campus operations and student life on campus. While all community members play a role in this effort, students who call MHC home for much of the year play the most significant role in greening Mount Holyoke. The College is actively working to make progress in a number of areas including: energy and climate change, waste reduction and recycling, green building, responsible land management, water conservation, and hazardous materials management.


Barbara A. Block

Barbara A. Block holds the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professor Chair in Marine Sciences at Stanford University. Her research focuses on large pelagic fishes and how they utilize the open ocean environment. She is codirector of the Tuna Research and Conservation Center, the only facility in North America holding bluefin tuna for captive research and exhibit.

The combination of Block's lab and field work has led to a rapid increase in the understanding of movement patterns, population structure, physiology and behaviors of pelagic fish. She and her team have deployed more than 1,700 electronic tags on bluefin tuna in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and they have performed extensive genetic analyses, providing insights about bluefin biology and population structure. She has published 120 peer-reviewed scientific articles on her research and has edited a book on the biology of tunas.

Block is actively engaged in translating the science into enduring solutions for fisheries management. She is cofounder and scientific director of the Tag-A-Giant Foundation, an organization committed to reversing the decline of northern bluefin tuna populations through advancing scientific research, policy, and conservation initiatives. She has received an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, a Pew Marine Conservation Award, and the American Physiological Society's Walter B. Cannon Award.

Leslie Anne Miller '73

An attorney, Leslie Anne Miller is currently a solo practitioner engaged in alternate dispute resolution. She has been recognized across her home state of Pennsylvania for her leadership in service to the community, and she is known as an advocate of programs that advance women and as a proponent for work that fosters diversity in both the legal profession and business community.

Miller also serves as an advisor to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and as co-chair of his Finance Committee, having performed that same role during his mayoral campaign and then continuing as a member of his transition team. She was previously General Counsel for the Pennsylvania Office of General Counsel, the state’s largest legal entity. In this position, she led a staff of more than 450 attorneys in representing Governor Edward G. Rendell and 32 executive and independent agencies in litigation, transactions, regulatory, legislative, and criminal justice matters. Prior to her appointment to the Governor’s Cabinet, she was partner and shareholder in the law firm of McKissock and Hoffman, P.C.

Miller is active in various nonprofit and cultural organizations, all of which benefit from her professional creativity and innovation. In addition to Mount Holyoke, some of these include: the Penn Medicine Board, Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Women’s Law Project, and the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council.

Miller received an A.B., cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree in arts in political science from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Dickinson School of Law conferred her J.D., and she received an L.L.M., with honors from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. She also received an honorary doctorate of laws from Thomas Jefferson University and an honorary doctorate of humanities from Wilson College.

Richard Brown Worley

Richard Worley has served as managing director of Permit Capital Group, LLC, a private investment partnership, since 2002. Prior to that, he served as president and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Investment Management. Worley was chairman of Miller Anderson and Sherrerd, a leading institutional investment management firm, from 1987 until it was acquired by Morgan Stanley in 1996. He also worked as an economist for Goldman Sachs from 1970 to 1978.

Worley serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, which he chairs; the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; the Independence Seaport Museum; the Putnam Funds; and Neuberger and Berman. He is a member of the investment committees of the World Wildlife Fund and Mount Holyoke College. Worley has also served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, the Health System of the University of Pennsylvania, the National Constitution Center, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Worley received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and did graduate work in economics at the University of Texas.