A memorial service will take place at 3pm on August 30 at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. It will be held in Sage Chapel on campus, with a reception to follow in the Statler Ballroom.
Philippus Miller III (1960-2019)

Phil Miller, age 58, passed away on Saturday, August 10, 2019, after suffering a stroke.

Born October 14, 1960 at Lankenau Hospital in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, Phil is survived by his beloved wife of 19 years, Yasamin Miller of Ithaca, NY, stepson Cyrus DiCiccio of Palo Alto, CA, mother Sally Miller of Philadelphia, brother Caleb Miller of San Rafael, CA, in-laws Candy and Ali Sarraf of Ontario, and a loving extended family. Phil is preceded in death by his father, Philippus Miller Jr.

Rarely in life are we graced by the presence of someone loved by everyone they encounter.Phil was this unique individual.Phil was first and foremost a devoted husband to his beloved wife, Yasamin, and their relationship was a joy to anyone privileged to spend time in their company. He cared deeply about his family as well his many close friends, and cherished nothing more than spending time in the company of his loved ones.He buoyed everyone with his warmth, unforgettable laugh, and brilliant humor. He was quick witted, incredibly bright, and accomplished in all endeavors he approached.Phil was described by many in colorful terms that pay homage to the color and vibrancy of his life.‘A dazzling conversational acrobat’, ‘absolute gentleman’, ‘witty, urbane and supremely intelligent’, ‘Cornellian extraordinaire’ are just a small sampling used to describe him.

Phil was a member of The Society of the Cincinnati, founded in 1783 at the end of the Revolutionary War by the Continental Army officers who fought the war of which George Washington was one of the founders. The Society of the Cincinnati is composed of one hereditary male descendent of each of those original officers. Phil is a fifth-generation grandson of Lt. Col. Caleb North, an original member. The purpose of the society is to perpetuate those early friendships, work to sustain the ideals of those who fought, be of assistance for the less fortunate, and to educate every generation that freedom was obtained at a high price. Phil was proud of this heritage but never high minded or boastful.The values of The Society were the roots to his life of helping others.

Phil attended The Haverford School and sang in the choir at both Haverford and the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.It is there where he developed his passion for music, poetry, and history.Mount Desert Island Maine was a special place for Phil, and his dedication to a life of service started there, working summers at the Claremont Hotel as a teen.

Phil was a 1983 graduate of The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.During his student days he was a member of the Cornell Glee Club, President of the Hangovers A Capella singing group, a member of Delta Chi fraternity, and nominated into the Quill and Dagger Senior Honorary Society, and remained very actively involved with all these organizations over the years.

His early career included roles with Hyatt Hotels, the Related Companies.Phil then moved to Guatemala to become a hotel manager in the Central American Highlands.He then went on to Kenya as operations manager of a safari camp.

In 1993, he returned to Cornell and spent 11 happy years as the Hotel School’s Director of Alumni Affairs and Secretary of its alumni association, the Cornell Hotel Society. Phil assisted the School’s 11,000 students and alumni in all aspects of their careers and encouraged their lifelong interaction with Cornell. He was the Executive Editor of the alumni magazine, supervised the operations of more than 60 alumni chapters worldwide, directed the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, and assisted one of the most active alumni associations in the world in its evolution from a print-based to an online organization. Under Phil’s leadership, the Society’s alumni engagement reached an all-time high.

Phil was also successful in his own entrepreneurial ventures.He founded and managed Philippus Miller III & Associates, a premier executive search firm in the hospitality industry.He was also a founder and a senior leader at Paramount Lodging Advisors, one of the fastest growing hotel real estate advisory firms.

His deep ties to Cornell University and the Hotel School continued until his passing as he was actively involved with students, faculty, and alumnae. Phil served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Cornell Hotel School's Pillsbury Institute for Entrepreneurship, and secretary and former president of the Cornell Hotel Society Foundation

Phil was the consummate “Hotelie,” having dedicated most of his life to the university and hospitality industry.

Phil was a vibrant and active man, always ready with a smile, a firm handshake, and a story. He was a relentlessly energetic and positive force of nature. He was always up for an adventure or new experience, especially when it involved good food, travel, and meeting new people. Phil was a loving figure who believed in the greatness of people and their abilities. That he had so many true friendships and touched so many lives is a testament to his genuine interest in helping and serving others. Phil appreciated the nuances of life, always choosing to be persistently and relentlessly positive, radiating good cheer.

He lived by a very consistent code of morality, ethics, and perfect manners, and always set a standard to be admired. He was a gentleman. It takes a special person to elevate the school, build bridges, and nurture such a wide and diverse group of people around the globe.  

“Phil” comes from the Greek verb meaning to love and no one embodied this more than Phil. He loved his family, friends, colleagues, and life and will remain forever in our hearts. 

A celebration of Phil’s life is being planned for Friday, August 30th at 3pm at Sage Chapel with a reception to follow. Memorial contributions can be made in his name to the Cornell Hotel Society by clicking this link: https://cornellhotelsociety.com/philippus-miller-i...or mailing a check to: Cornell Hotel Society, c/o Susan Boyle-Wood, 1670 Beulah Road, Vienna, VA 22182. Please note “Philippus Miller III Memorial Fund” on the check. Send any questions to susan@cornellhotelsociety.com   At a later date, Yasamin will determine how to allocate these contributions to support Hotel students in the most appropriate way to honor Phil.

Tributes can be posted at this online memorial: http://philmiller.forevermissed.com

Posted by Samuel Bacharach on August 16, 2019
Yael and I are shocked by this news. We've been away and only just heard of this today and cannot fathom this as a reality. Whenever we met Phil, he was so full of life, generosity, and warmth. He was such a sharing and giving person--which makes this tragedy so incongruent. His voice, his humor, his unassuming charm was a wonderful combination of intellect, street smarts, and a dash of the New England debonair. Yasamin, the last time Yael and I had an occasion to spend time with you and Phil was at your home in Ithaca. A lovely house, filled very much with your shared passion for life. We cannot even imagine, Yasamin, how terribly difficult this void is for you. We wish you the blessings, strength, and peace that you so well deserve.
Best, Sam & Yael Bacharach
Posted by Rhoda Meador on August 14, 2019
Dear Yasamin and family,
We are deeply saddened and shocked about Phil's untimely passing. We remember him as a fun-loving and delightful friend who was always so much fun to be around. We send you our love, prayers, and heartfelt condolences as you go through this difficult time. His light will shine forever.
Sending you our love, Rhoda and Michael Meador
Posted by Kenneth Kuchman on August 14, 2019
Dear Yasamin:

My most sincere condolences to you and your family. I hope that you are doing the best that you can under the circumstances. I was so shocked and saddened to learn of Phil's passing, way too early at age 58. If there is anything that I can do to help you, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Phil and I were both born in 1960. He and I were at the Hotel School at the same time, although I am Class of '82. For many years in the 1990's and early 2000's, when Phil was in charge of the Cornell Hotel Society, we spoke frequently and met regularly during my presidency of the Northern California Chapter of CHS, and later as the regional Vice President Pacific Northwest and Hawaii for CHS. Phil was always, without fail, supportive, polite, and enthusiastic. He always followed through on any promise. Working with him was a complete pleasure. I recall when he married you and how much he loved you and "his" new son!

While you will never be "cured" from the loss of Phil and you will never be the same being that you were when he was alive, I trust that you will not forever be bereft in grief as you are now. A larger world will present itself, I am sure, and it may take the picture frame of a sudden expansion and deeper understanding of the many ways, and significant ways, that Phil touched so many of us. And in that expanded presence, and with the knowledge that your family and your friends are here to support you, Phil will be in the world in that presence, but while still absent. A more shadowed world, perhaps, but a more luminous world, too, because of his many contributions.

Best regards, Kenneth Kuchman, Greenbrae, California.
Posted by Cheryl Murphy on August 14, 2019
Yasmin - we are shocked and saddened to learn of Phil’s passing. Although we bought in Sea Oaks in 2013, Phil was always friendly and engaging. He was always willing to engage in strategic discussions with us on our Sea Oaks Tennis Villas. We will miss seeing him at the yearly Members Weekend in November. We thank you for sharing him with us and you are forever in our prayers. We hope to see you and share our stories in person. Much love ❤️
Posted by Alicia Munian on August 14, 2019
Ren and I are both shocked and saddened by this devastating news. Phil was always smiling, so full of life and our family looked forward to seeing him. He was so genuine and caring, and his story telling was legendary.

Our condolences to Yasamin and the entire family. xoxo
Posted by David Taylor on August 14, 2019
Very, very sad. My sincere condolences to Yasamin and those closest to Phil. Certainly, the memory of his genuine interest in others, welcoming smile and quick wit will endure. Very grateful for Phil’s contribution to elevating MMH student attitudes around a professional job search and his help in driving placement rates up into the 90’s…and always with a smile…will always be appreciated. On behalf of the students/now alumni, thank you Phil! Consummate “life is service” Hotelie. Will be deeply missed and remembered by many around the world. 
Posted by Karin Ash on August 14, 2019
Yasamin, Bill and I were shocked to learn of Phil's premature death. We last saw you both having dinner with the Vohras at the Heights. My memories of Phil go way back from our years of working at Cornell. He seemed to be perpetually smiling and that is how I will remember him. Thinking of you.
Posted by Daniel Lesser on August 13, 2019
I am saddened to hear of Phil's passing. While I did not know Phil well, I knew him for more than 30 years. Phil was the quintessential Hotelie...positive with a desire to assist. The first definition of the word "hospitable" on Google is "friendly and welcoming to visitors or guests". When I think of Phil the term "hospitable" comes to mind. Please accept my deepest condolences for your family's loss. Dan Lesser' 79
Posted by Chiaki Tanuma on August 14, 2019
The news of his sudden passing is truly sad and shocking. I remember Phil was a frequent attendee at CHS Asia Pacific Regional Conferences and my impression was that he was such a dedicated hotelie. And I cannot imagine how difficult time his wife Yasamin and his family are having now. I do miss him a lot and would like to convey my deepest condolences to Yasamin.
Chiaki Tanuma
Posted by Peg Adamson on August 14, 2019
Dear Yasamin and family,
I am a cousin and really feel your sense of sudden loss and sadness. I send you love and blessings on a life well lived and loved.
Love,
Peg Adamson
Posted by Neal Geller on August 13, 2019
Yasamin, we are so terribly sorry for your loss. Phil was a colleague but, more importantly, a friend. We mourn his untimely passing. Just a few months ago we enjoyed dinner together. We now treasure that last meeting. No words can express the sorrow we feel for you, Yasamin, and for the rest of Phil’s family. We wish you peace.
Posted by Mary Losch on August 13, 2019
Yasamin, your AASRO/AAPOR family is heartbroken about Phil's untimely passing. As so many of the tributes have said, he was a very special person who touched so many lives. May your memories bring you comfort, and may time bring you peace. 
Posted by John Durham on August 13, 2019
Much like a few others' tributes, I too had occasion to communicate with Phil during the course of my career. He was always, always gracious about giving advice and occasional networking if asked. I was in the Class of 76, and got to know him as my career (and his) moved forward. He was one of those "nice guys in a business". And yes, he was always true and sincere in wanting to help. Phil passed all too soon and sudden. However, we helped many hotelies along the way. 
Posted by Heidi Grunwald on August 13, 2019
This is such tragic and sad news. Phil was such a positive spirit - and was always a ton of fun to be around. He was ever present during the AASRO / AAPOR trips. My heart aches for Yasamin and the family - may you find solace during this time together. 
Posted by Monica Gelinas on August 13, 2019
Phil was a true Hotelie and one of a kind. Phil always listened with grace and humor. He had a great ability to hone in on the person and fully understand what was said and not said. He was so genuine - the people and the possibility of all things. I'll miss seeing him at all the Cornell gatherings. He will truly be missed. Monica '99
Posted by John F Monhardt on August 13, 2019
I was stunned when I read the e-mail from the Hotel School telling me Phil had passes away. In the 90s while at the Rezidor head office I was invited to guest lectures at the school and Phil and I made a point of touching base with each others. He was always such a positive person, generous with his time and helpful in whatever issue to be dealt with. For us international graduates he was a tremendous representative of the alumni organizations and the school. A standing example that hospitality is not a job but a calling.
John F. Monhardt, MPS 85
Posted by Yiran Chen on August 13, 2019
It was very shocked and sad when I heard of Phil's passing yesterday. Phil connected so many young students with right professionals in his life, with his genuine passion and kindness -- I was luckily one of them.
I knew Phil in December, 2015 through the Models of Excellence in Business Presentation Competition of SHA. Phil was one of the judges of the competition and I was the winner of that year. After the competition, Phil came to introduce himself and told me that he was impressed by my speech and the fact that I am a non-native speaker. He told me that I should feel proud of myself. That day was the last class day of my college time, winning the competition with such encouragement definitely made a memorable moment.
Phil then asked me about my plan after graduation. I told him that I still haven't decided, and that I will be in Hong Kong for a while after leaving the town. Phil then found a time for coffee with me before I left. He searched through the alumni dictionary and found a few alumni in Hong Kong whom he thought can help me figure out the right opportunity -- One of them turned out to be the one who referred me to my first job. I will always remember that it was Phil helping me greatly on my first step of professional life. 
I didn't know that being one of the finalists of the competition would make me know Phil and lead me to such a journey, neither do I know that Phil would leave us in such a sudden. Life is so unpredictable in most of the gain and loss.
Talking about Phil yesterday with another SHA people, we both recalled that he always tell us to reach out to hotelies around the world and be the hotelie ambassador. I think the best way to show our memory of him is to keep doing so.
Hope this note brings my condolence to Phil's family too. He will be missed.

Violet Chen'16
Posted by Regula Wipf on August 13, 2019
Dear Phil,
I hope you read these words wherever you are. We graduated together, and over the years we kept in contact. Sometimes the intervals were long, sometimes shorter - but you always remembered. No matter when we talked, you were always helpful, supportive encouraging - and it was always fun to catch up and hear what was happening on the hill or exchanging news on the newest developments in the industry.
You left us too early - your kindness will always be remembered.
To your family - I wish you much strength. My thoughts are with you. 
Posted by Michael Clouser on August 12, 2019
Sorry to hear of Phil's passing. I was shocked to hear of it today. I knew Phil for almost 30 years. I saw him often at events, and during my MBA years on the Hill as well. He was a Hotelie's Hotelie and they even gave him the url to prove it. He was the best Alumni Affairs director I ever had, and really helped connect me to a lot of people. I saw him a few times over the last two summers. I'll write about it in the stories. Jasmin, sorry for your loss. We all loved Phil but not as much as you. -Michael Clouser aka "Spaghetti", Hotel BS 90, MBA 99
Posted by Geoffrey Hewitt on August 12, 2019
So I am now retired however my paths crossed a few times with Phil during a few job searches ; he was always kind and professional in every regard ; I am so sorry for your loss he was a wonderful beautiful human being and the utmost professional in our industry
Posted by Barbara Higgins on August 12, 2019
Yasmin, I am so very sorry for this sad news!  Phil was always generous with his time, his ideas, his feedback, and his heart.  I worked closely with him at the beginning of my career, witnessing first hand his mentoring of newly graduated Hotelies, guiding them through the incredible network that is Cornell.  He connected graduates with me so often that I wondered why he didn't go into search - and of course he did!  What a wonderfully wide web of leaders he brought together, and what an incredibly decent human being he always was.  The world is a little less bright with his loss.
Posted by Chantal Wu on August 12, 2019
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Phil! I have known him for close to 10 years and he placed me for a role with my former company a few years ago. I finally got the opportunity to meet him in person in NYC last year. His upbeat and genuine personality is something I will never forget. He was passionate about the Hotel School and connected and helped so many students and alumni along the way. Phil, you will be missed!
Posted by SARAH LATIMER on August 12, 2019
Phil was an inspirational person - always positive, happy and helpful. He was the definition of Hotelie and will be greatly missed by the entire community. Jasamin - I am so sorry for your loss. I will miss him at events - I always looked forward to catching up and hearing about all of those special Hotelies I hadn't seen in a while (as he was so good at remaining in communication with everyone). I will strive to greet everyone with a warm smile and hug in honor of Phil. Sarah Perkins Latimer '05.

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