Alumni award winners return to campus
calendar icon26 May 2022
Lincoln, Neb.--Tim Andersen (B.M.E. 1982) and Abby Miller (B.A. 2002) returned to campus in April as part of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Honors Day celebration.
Andersen received the Alumni Achievement Award in Music. He has combined a successful teaching and performing career in the Dallas/Fort Worth area over the past 38 years.
“It was very emotional when I got the e-mail,” Andersen said. “I got pretty choked up. It was really unexpected, yet an amazing honor. Never in a million years. But to be honored by the school that you have such an affinity for, which I do, it’s quite an honor for me.”
Andersen is a Yamaha Performing Artist and has performed with the five-time Grammy-nominated Dallas Winds for 33 years and has held the position of co-principal trumpet since 2007.
He performs, records and tours frequently with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and has performed numerous times at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, Texas Bandmasters Association Convention and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Convention. Andersen began his 25-year public school teaching career in 1988.
While back on campus, Andersen met with brass students in the Glenn Korff School of Music.
“I start talking trumpet, and I geek out,” he said. “I love talking trumpet. It’s fun helping kids get better at something. They have fun doing it, and I love doing it.”
Miller received the Alumni Achievement Award in Theatre and Film.
“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” Miller said. “But then I see all that you guys have done, and I’m like, oh yeah, it’s been 20 years.”
A film and television actress in Los Angeles and represented by the prestigious Principal Entertainment LA agency, Miller currently stars on the Apple TV+ original series “Home Before Dark.” Prior to that role, she appeared as a series regular on “The Sinner,” where she played Officer Caitlin Sullivan opposite Bill Pullman.
Her turn as Charles Manson follower Mary Brunner on “Aquarius” came on the heels of her dynamic turn as Ellen May on the FX original series “Justified.” Her other TV credits include “The Magicians,” “Imposters,” “Station 19,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Mad Men.” She has also appeared in numerous feature films, such as the 2010 Sundance Selection “One Too Many Mornings” and the indie feature “Congratulations,” which she co-wrote.
“It’s just so trippy being back because, I mean, some of it hasn’t changed at all, like stepping into the Lab, which we used to have as the Studio Theatre,” Miller said. “It felt just like being back my senior year doing ‘The Shape of Things,’ and it was really incredible. And then seeing the actors performing there, it really just felt like time stood still. But also seeing all the new additions you guys have worked so hard on, it’s really exciting, and it doesn’t feel like the same university. So it feels like home, but it also feels like I’m entering a whole new realm of possibility for these students, which gets me really excited.”
During her time on campus, she met with the performance faculty, had a question and answer session with performance students and met with the senior performers.
“I wish I would have had more time with the seniors,” Miller said. “Because that’s the class that is getting ready to embark on the most important time in their lives and such huge decision-making, and I felt they were hungry. But it was really fun.”
For a full listing of this year’s Honors Day award recipients, view our Honors Day program (pdf) at https://go.unl.edu/p8kc.