George Benjamin Miles, Ph.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “George Benjamin Miles, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 23, 2024,

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George Benjamin Miles, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry George Benjamin Miles (May 14, 1926-) was born in Erin, Tennessee. He attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, earning B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry 1950 and 1958 respectively. During Miles' time at the University of Tennessee, he was a graduate assistant (1950-51), a researcher on fellowship (Research Corporation, 1954-55), a teaching assistant (1955-56), and a researcher on fellowship (Texas Corporation, 1956-57). He also served in the Naval Reserve (active duty) from May 1944 to July 1946 and from November 1951 to June 1953. In July 1953, Miles began work at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Corona, California, as a chemist. He was appointed to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee in 1957 as an instructor. Just prior to coming to Appalachian State, he worked as a research chemist at DuPont (Dacron Research Laboratories) in Kinston, North Carolina. He joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Appalachian State Teachers' College (now Appalachian State University) in September 1961 and was tenured in 1965. In 1967, Dr. Miles was awarded a National Science Foundation Faculty Fellowship to study at the University of California at Berkeley and was given a leave of absence for the 1967-68 academic year. Upon his return from Berkeley, he was asked to be the acting chair of the Department of Chemistry, which he accepted. Dr. Miles was appointed chair of the department in 1969, a position he held until his return to full-time instructing in 1976. In July 1981, he was asked to assume the role of acting chair of the Department of Chemistry, which he did for one year. Professor Miles held membership in the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, the American Association of University Professors, and the North Carolina Academy of Science. In addition, he served on the Arts and Sciences Council, the Academic Policies and Procedures Committee, the Calendar and Registration Committee, and he was faculty marshal for the 1976 and 1977 commencement. Dr. Miles is named in American Men of Science. Miles' contributions to the local community included sharing his knowledge and time with elementary school students. He accomplished this by visiting their classrooms several times a year to demonstrate and teach science, creating a real interest in this field of study among the students. In doing this, Miles created a bond between the university and the county schools. In 1979, Dr. Miles was selected to receive the Outstanding Teacher Award, bestowed by the Board of Trustees of Appalachian State. In 1987, he received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the North Carolina Governor's Office for community service. Miles also received the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award for the 1991-92 year. Dr. Miles retired from Appalachian State in 1991 with the rank of professor emeritus. Since his retirement, he has continued his work in the community; he served as chair of the Watauga County Public Library Board of Trustees, as a member of the Appalachian Regional Library Board of Trustees, a member of the Watauga County Nursing Home Committee, and a member of the North Carolina State Library Commission. He also visits shut-ins on a regular basis and brings them home-delivered meals once a week. Dr. Miles and his wife, Ida Robertson, reside in Boone, North Carolina. They have one daughter, Margaret Ann. Sources: Appalachian State University files and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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