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The Right Man (1974)


Sound | 1974

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  •  History of Wiley College and the role of historically black colleges and universities 
  •  Testimony from student William Porter 
  •  Eleanor Langhorn reflects on her experience 
  •  Cozetta Henderson explains why she chose Wiley College over other institutions 
  •  At home with Dr. Robert Hayes, university president 
  •  Talking with students 
  •  Walking around Houston’s Third Ward 
  •  President’s Garden 
  •  Hayes congratulates new graduates 
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Produced by Ray Miller for KPRC-TV’s Big 2 News, “The Right Man” is a 1974 television documentary about the influence of Dr. Robert Hayes Sr. Hayes served as president of Wiley College, a historically black college in Marshall, Texas, from 1971 to 1986. Bishop Kenneth Copeland of the United Methodist Church sent Hayes to Wiley—then $6 million in debt—to shut the school down. A Wiley alumnus, Hayes instead resolved to save the institution. This documentary examines his honorable mission and education philosophy. Through voice-over narration, Hayes stresses the critical role of historically black colleges and universities and the importance of family. A trio of students also reflect on their experience at Wiley on the occasion of their graduation. The documentary received a Peabody Award in 1974.
Newsman Ray Miller (1919 - 2008) began his broadcasting career in 1938 in his home town of Fort Worth. He relocated to Houston soon thereafter, where he joined KPRC Radio. When KPRC purchased Houston’s first television station in 1951, Miller adopted the burgeoning medium, eventually winning a Peabody Award. In 1969, Miller created The Eyes of Texas, a regional television series examining all things Texas. On the air for 30 years, the series became Houston’s longest-running local television program. Miller retired in 1979, serving as news director at both KPRC Radio and KPRC-TV for over 40 years. During his decades-long tenure at KPRC, Miller mentored a number of journalists, including Dan Rather and former US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 
After retiring from television production, Miller became a local historian, writing several books and travel guides about historic attractions in Houston and Galveston. He also worked with the Harris County Historical Commission to secure markers for numerous sites