Volga home doesn’t replace Woodbine

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

President Peggy Miller chuckles when she hears rumors about the “real reason” why she bought the $259,200 pink stucco house that sits on the edge of the Volga Golf Course.

Since Miller and her husband Bob have moved back into Woodbine Cottage, rumors have been flying claiming that Miller bought a home in Volga because she wasn’t happy with Woodbine’s renovations. A reporter from the Argus Leader even called executive vice president for administration Michael Reger, asking if the president still lived in Woodbine, Miller said.

But she insists that the rumors are untrue and that she is pleased with Woodbine’s renovations.

“Actually, people stop me on the street, at stores and say ‘Oh, it looks so much better’ and I think they are right,” she said. “I think Woodbine is looking great.”

If there is one thing she didn’t like about the renovations, it is that they were so expensive and SDSU students felt the brunt of the cost, Miller said.

Miller and her husband Bob moved back into Woodbine in early February. She said there are still projects, such as fixing the garage, that need to be done on the 118-year-old home.

The couple bought the Volga home in October 2004. Miller said Bob sold his lake-home in Minnesota because they wanted another place that was closer to Brookings. The couple had been looking for three to four years for a home nearby that was on a lake or golf course.

“He has been looking for a place ever since that one has been sold,” she said.

When the Volga house went on the market, they decided to seize the opportunity. Miller said it was too good to pass up.

“It’s a place you can’t count on getting any other time,” she said.

The house in Volga is really Bob’s house, she said. He doesn’t love Woodbine quite as much as she does. He likes the Volga home because it’s more spacious compared to the coziness of Woodbine, Miller said. He likes a home with a little more isolation.

“He isn’t used to having 11,000 children and I like having 11,000 children,” she said.

The Volga home isn’t used very often, Miller said. They haven’t spent a night there and only two rooms are completely furnished, but she does manage to go the house a couple of times a week to work on decorating projects. She expects that the house will be used more in the summertime when Bob will be playing more golf.

The house did become a replacement while Woodbine was under construction, she said. It allowed them to host events, such as the Students’ Association Christmas party, usually held at Woodbine. Also, guests who normally would stay at Woodbine during Hobo Day week were able to stay at their Volga residence. The house is also used as an extra storage area for furniture they don’t have room for in Woodbine.

They couple bought the house with the idea that it would be their retirement home. Miller really wanted a place where she could still be connected with SDSU, and the Volga house is only four miles from campus.

It’s not uncommon for university presidents to have another house that will be there when their term is through, Miller said.

“It’s kind nice to know you have a permanent place,” she said.

For Miller, retirement is still a ways down the road.

“We don’t imagine we will for a long time,” she said. “It’s going to be hard for me to do that someday. I’ll have to but it will be a hard decision.”

Whenever the time comes, she said she will really miss Woodbine. She enjoys the convenience and the familiarity of Woodbine.

“I think that will be just weird – not having students around,” she said. “I love this house.”

#1.885199:1753890974.jpg:volga.jpg:President Peggy Miller and her husband Bob own this house in Volga but she says she loves Woodbine.:#1.885198:2686103433.jpg:WoodbineAa.jpg:Presidential house Woodbine Cottage was remodeled this year at a cost of $500,000. Miller said she is living in the house.: