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Marquette University Alumni Association

School of Dentistry Award Recipients

Outstanding Dental Service Award

Green Bay, Wis.

“I love helping children build their self-esteem through a beautiful, healthy smile,” says Dr. Jim, as he came to be known to his patients.

After a long career as a pediatric dentist, Jim retired from his successful Green Bay, Wis., practice but hasn’t slowed down one bit when it comes to helping kids and advancing oral health. He is board chair of the Brown County Oral Health Partnership, which provides dental services to low-income children in the Green Bay school system. He also lectures in the dental hygiene program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and serves on the program’s advisory committee.

“I’m very proud to be a Marquette dentist,” says Jim, who defines success as using God-given talents to help and serve others. “I consider myself a Christian and a caring person, and I’ve given much of my personal time to help others and serve the dental profession.”

As a student, Jim was class president for three years, laying the foundation for future leadership roles in the Wisconsin Dental Association and American Dental Association.

The WDA awarded Jim its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Dental School since 1990 and has been active in the Green Bay area through the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, United Way and various organizations that provide dental services to vulnerable populations.

Jim and his wife, Carolyn, have been married for 45 years and have two children, Laura and Eric, Dent '99, who continues his dad’s legacy as a Marquette dentist.

Get to Know: James L. Van Miller, D.D.S.

Hometown: Green Bay, Wis.

Favorite quote:  “The significance of a man is not what he attains, but what he longs to attain.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Someone past or present he’d like to have dinner with: former President Ronald Reagan

The Marquette faculty or staff member who had a great impact on him:  He will always remember Dr. Paul Capolis on the clinic floor.  He was the most kind and caring teacher to his students.