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Professor Gives Up Purple For A Good Cause

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Often there are things in a person's life that identify them; for Jeffrey Miller, it's a color.

"I am known as professor purple or the purple professor to a fair number of people,” said Miller. “I have been referred to as professor plum, both in person and in print, the purple guy. And from there things get a little off color. Pun intended.”

As a professor at Augustana College, Miller has made a name for himself by wearing purple everyday even correcting his students' papers in purple. But it all changed when a couple of those students asked him just how long he could live without it.

"I have decided to give up the color purple,” said Miller.

But not without a purpose, Miller told his students that if he was going to take his first break from the color in about 25 years it had to be for a cause. So he decided to start a pledge drive for the Sioux Falls Children's Inn, encouraging people to make a certain monetary pledge for each of the 40 days of Lent in exchange for all things purple.

"I've got suitcases full of purple clothes and many of the people there don't have anything really to speak of right now so it seemed like a very good thing to do,” said Miller.

So far, Miller says it hasn't been easy.

"I really didn't own any clothing that wasn't purple for starters and I don't have anything to write with that wasn't purple,” said Miller.

But he says, as promised, he can live without the color for the cause. At only two weeks in, Miller says they have raised over $300 of their $500 goal.

“This isn't about me; it's not about anything else. It's about trying to raise some money for the Children's Inn,” said Miller. “The whole point of Lent and Lenten sacrifice is to give something up for a greater good.”

Choosing to live without his purple passion, but for a pure purpose.

Miller says he will eventually get to wear and use things that are purple again, but he will go an additional day for every extra $20 that is donated over his pledged goal.

Maren Larson
Facebook Fan Page: Maren Larson KDLT News
Follow On Twitter: @MnlarsonKDLT
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