Doris and Walter Miga’s legacy at UC runs deep.
For nearly 50 years, the couple was a fixture in the stands at UC basketball games. Doris, a Professor Emerita who taught sociology for 47 years, was known as “Mother Miga” to generations of student-athletes whom she mentored tirelessly with her signature “tough love” approach.
Walter, a former college basketball player himself, served as president of UC Sports Boosters; it wasn’t uncommon to find him working the popcorn machine outside the Clark Athletic Center gymnasium during halftime.
The UC basketball court, says their son Wester now, was the “center of their lives” for five decades. So it makes perfect sense that, in fall 2018, that very court will bear their names.
Longtime supporters of UC, the Migas’ sons, Wesley ’80 and Wester Miga ’76, wanted to give back in a way that would honor their parents’ legacy. Their generous gift will fund major upgrades to the gymnasium, including renovated seating. What’s more, the brothers have pledged to match dollar-for-dollar every gift made in support of the project. Construction will begin this summer, with a dedication ceremony unveiling the Miga Court in the fall.
“This is exactly what our parents would have done if they were still with us,” says Wester. “Once we realized that, the decision to do it was an easy one.”
Note: In a version of this story, which appeared on page 17 in the fall 2017 issue of Utica magazine, a quote from Wester Miga was incorrectly attributed to "Walter Miga." We regret the error.