Henry Nicholas “Nick” Muller III

Former Colby-Sawyer College President H. Nicholas Muller III died at his home in Essex, N.Y., on May 31, 2022. He was 83.

Dr. Muller, known affectionately as “Nick,” was born in Pittsburgh and earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. He was a professor of history at the University of Vermont and served as assistant dean, then associate dean of the UVM College of Arts & Sciences before becoming Colby-Sawyer’s fifth president in 1978.

Under Dr. Muller’s leadership, the college purchased the Colby Homestead in 1981, and three years later, renovation began on its two attached pre-Civil War barns, which would be transformed into the Susan Colgate Cleveland Library. “We need a place which promotes learning and attracts students and keeps them there,” Dr. Muller told the New Hampshire Sunday News in 1984. “We also want to make a visual impression on a casual borrower of each book.” The library was the recipient of an Award of Excellence for Library Architecture from the American Library Association in 1987.

After leaving the college in 1985, Dr. Muller directed the state historical society of Wisconsin, then served as CEO for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., until he retired in 2002. A historian who specialized in Vermont heritage, Dr. Muller authored numerous books on Vermont and dedicated his time to organizations including the Vermont Historical Society, Fort Ticonderoga, Ethan Allen Homestead Trust, National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Essex Community Fund at Adirondack Foundation, which has named him the recipient of the 2022 Francisca Irwin Award for Community Service. He remained connected to Colby-Sawyer as well, encouraging local students to attend the college, giving generously and joining the Heritage Society, which includes those who have provided for the college through their estate plans.

To view Dr. Muller’s full obituary, please visit Obituary: Henry Nicholas Muller III, 1938-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice (sevendaysvt.com).