Administrator passes 60, strives to not slow down
After reaching age 60, most people begin to think about retirement and settling down as they end their normal work careers. Climbing mountains usually doesn’t cross their minds. But for Dave Millay, associate vice chancellor for facilities management, this is something that has become almost second nature.
When asked why he goes on such adventures, Millay said, “It’s fun.” But there is more to the story.
Since marrying his wife, Elaine, over 30 years ago, Millay hasn’t looked back. Just last year, he trekked to the Kashmir Mountains that are located just four miles from Pakistan. While there, he and his wife passed a small family who was carrying their father’s body up the mountain on a yak to lay to rest.
Dave and Elaine are huge fans of the Himilayas. They have reached altitudes of about 18,400 feet.
While climbing a few years ago, the two met Erik Weihenmayer. For those who don’t know about Weihenmayer, you may be surprised. If you’re ever traveling south on University Avenue in Little Rock, look across the thoroughfare from the Reynolds business building. Located there is a billboard that simply states, “Climbed Everest. Blind.” Millay said that he uses this as a motivation. When he met Weihenmayer, they spoke for a while. Millay told him that seeing that billboard, and knowing the story, was something that he could carry with him on his long journeys into the sky.
Accomplishing a goal is another major reason Millay goes on hikes that most of us could never finish. “It’s an emotional … experience … when you’re able to accomplish something that you think you can’t do,” Millay said.
While on one hike, he was traveling with a husky guy from Germany. When they reached the summitt to about 18,000 feet, “we broke into tears,” he said.
Millay said that after walking for up to and over 12 hours a day, coming upon their campsite, “there’s nothing more beautiful than seeing that tent off in the distance.”
To prepare for his hikes, Millay said that he and his wife just do simple things like climbing Pinnacle Moutain outside of Little Rock, running up and down the ramps in the parking garage and the stairs at Stabler Hall. He said that there is nothing that demanding to preparing and that you don’t have to be an athlete to accomplish such a task.
Born and raised in New England, specifically Maine, Millay joined the Navy in 1966. After his service, he worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass. He then worked at the University of Delaware before coming to UALR 13 years ago. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston and received a Master’s in Business Administration from UALR in 2003.