The Times-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 project, running through 2018 and highlighting 300 people who have made New Orleans New Orleans, featuring original artwork commissioned by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune with Where Y’Art gallery. Today: civic volunteer Anne Milling.
The icon: Anne Milling.
The legacy: In her half-century of volunteering, Anne Milling has left a legacy all over New Orleans, with service to a multitude of organizations. In addition to leading the Sewerage & Water Board, the Junior League of New Orleans and the Loyola University Board of Trustees, she has served on the Superdome Commission and on boards that run the United Way, the New Orleans Police Foundation and the Bureau of Governmental Research, among many others. After Hurricane Katrinastruck in 2005, Milling founded Women of the Storm, a diverse group of about 150 women who flew three times to Washington to lobby for money to rebuild New Orleans and to urge representatives and senators to visit the city to see the damage the storm had wrought, and thereby appreciate the scope of Katrina’s destruction.
The artist: Maddie Stratton.
The quote: “I think your heart tells you a lot where to go, and where you can use your talents and abilities most effectively, and where you’re going to feel fulfilled.” — Anne Milling, in a 1996 interview with The Times-Picayune
- A native of Monroe, Milling earned an undergraduate degree at Newcomb College and a master’s degree at Yale University.
- Her parents were role models for her volunteerism. For example, her father, Hugh McDonald, chaired Monroe’s beautification when he was 78 and was in charge of Plant a Dogwood Day there.
- She and her husband, R. King Milling, are the only living New Orleanians with his and hers Times-Picayune Loving Cups, bestowed annually on someone who has worked for the betterment of the community without expectation of recognition or reward. (He won the cup for his work in 2008; she won the 1995 award.) Edgar and Edith Stern, both now deceased, are the only other couple with that distinction.
- She worked with the Bureau of Governmental Research to produce ethics-reform legislation in 1996.
- Milling is renowned for her persuasiveness. As a member of the committee planning Pope John Paul II’s visit to New Orleans in 1987, she got Lenox China to make and donate 24 place settings. Each piece was decorated with the papal archdiocesan coats of arms. She followed that up with a successful request for enough glassware for all those settings.
- Milling is a canny negotiator. She persuaded the chairman of Hormel Foods Corp. to cut in half the price of a $1.2 million Jefferson Parish warehouse for Second Harvesters Food Bank.
- In such situations, Milling says, this is her motto: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”