A native of Oxford, Miss., Ken McMillan grew up two blocks away from famed writer William Faulkner and often saw Faulkner during his high school years. After graduating from Ole Miss, McMillan spent two years firing surface-to-surface missiles in the Army at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. He received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
He had been teaching at the University of Mississippi for six years when he decided to come to UNF. "I was ready to move on and up, in addition to the excitement of being on the ground floor of a new university."
McMillan, now associate professor of art, has taught classes in ceramics, sculpture, aesthetics, experiences in art, 3D design, 20th Century art and Fire in the Arts for the Honors Program. He also served as the chairman of the Communications and Visual Arts Department from 1991 to 1995.
As he looks back to the beginning of his UNF career McMillan says the early days had a certain excitement. "Every day was Christmas for the first year of the school because new tools and equipment arrived regularly. From kilns to potter's wheels to trash cans and hammers, everything had to be purchased since there was nothing already here." McMillan says he stayed at UNF because "the faculty was relatively young, enthusiastic and inventive. Many things that we did have never been done so there was less red tape than would have been the case in an older, more established university."