Virginia Millage Memorial Rose Garden

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Created in 1992, the Virginia Millage Memorial Rose Garden was a gift to George Fox University through a memorial fund established by her family and friends. The garden consists of a 72-foot-diameter wheel rimmed by a dwarf boxwood hedge with alternating concentric lawn aisles and rose beds. The beds contain 43 varieties totaling 224 plants. A layout of the plantings and more information on each variety are available.

A 1954 George Fox University graduate, Mrs. Millage did not have an official capacity at the university, but she had become a friend to thousands of students, faculty, staff and Newberg-area residents.  She and her husband, Don, the university’s vice president for financial affairs, opened their home to students needing a temporary place to live, to campus guests and visitors, and to fellow employees. For years she was a hostess at university events.

Mrs. Millage helped organize and chaired the annual Holiday Bazaar of the George Fox University Auxiliary. From 1979 to 1981 she was president of the organization.

A member of Newberg Friends Church, she taught junior high Sunday school for 20 years. She served as president of the Newberg Community Hospitality Auxiliary and was treasurer for five years.

After graduating from George Fox with a degree in elementary education, Mrs. Millage attended Southern Oregon University, where she received a second bachelor’s degree. She taught first grade for two years in the Springfield (Oregon) School District and one year in Portland.

Don and Virginia Millage in 1980.

The Millages, married in 1954, moved to the East Coast in 1966 when Don became national director of professional development for Price Waterhouse and Co., in New York City. They lived in Franklin Lakes, N. J., returning to Newberg in 1972 when he became business manager for George Fox and she began her voluntary services to her alma mater. 

Mrs. Millage died March 25, 1992, at her home after brain cancer was diagnosed just weeks before. She was 59. Because of the hundreds who wanted to pay her tribute, her memorial service was held in Bauman Auditorium, just steps away from the memorial rose garden established in her memory.

Her husband, Don, passed away Feb. 17, 2012, 11 years after retiring from George Fox University. The Don and Virginia Millage Memorial Endowment provides several sizable scholarships to students majoring in elementary education.