Alfred Maxey (A.M.) Denton, Jr., Ph.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Alfred Maxey (A.M.) Denton, Jr., Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 20, 2024,

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Alfred Maxey (A.M.) Denton, Jr., 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 Sociology A.M. Denton, Jr. (September 23,1926- ), was born in Sulphur, OK. He majored in sociology and economics at Oklahoma A & M College (now Oklahoma State University), graduating with a B.S. in 1949. He earned an M.A. in sociology with a minor in economics in 1951 and a Ph.D. in sociology in 1960 from the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Denton began his professional career in sociology in the summer of 1947, interviewing Oklahoma farm families for the Oklahoma A & M College sociology and anthropology department. From 1947-49, he worked as an undergraduate research assistant for the same department. While pursuing his M.A. at UNC-CH, he worked as a graduate assistant for the department of sociology and the Institute for Research in Social Science of the UNC-CH.. In the summer of 1950, Denton served as field interviewer for North Carolina State University's department of sociology and rural sociology and the US Department of Agriculture. In 1951, Denton began a two-year assignment with a team from the UNC-CH Institute for Research in Social Science, monitoring the removal of residents of the area which later became the Atomic Energy reservation and Savannah River Plant in South Carolina. He returned to the UNC-CH sociology department in 1953, where he again served as a graduate assistant for a year. He began teaching in 1954, serving for three years as a part-time instructor of freshman social science at UNC-CH. In 1957, Denton accepted the post of associate professor of economics and sociology at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC., and served as chairperson of the department from 1958-1962. Denton came to Appalachian State Teachers College in 1962. He served as associate professor of sociology for three years before earning a promotion to full professor and chair of the department of sociology and anthropology in 1965. In 1979, he was named professor and chair of the sociology department and coordinator of the undergraduate interdisciplinary minor in gerontology. Denton became acting director of the master of arts program in gerontology in 1987. Denton's professional affiliations include the Gerontological Society of America, the Southern Gerontological Society, and the North Carolina Sociological Association. Denton was one of the founders of the NC Sociological Association and served as its president in 1972-73. He is a frequent contributor to both state and national panels and committees on aging and was a governor's appointee to the 1981 White House Conference on Aging. From 1981 through 1990, he was an advisory council member and vice chair of the five-county area foster grandparent program. At Appalachian, Denton has served on committees on issues ranging from the curriculum to traffic management and safety control to admissions. He was a member of the faculty senate from 1967-70 and chaired the task force on gerontology and the committee on gerontology while sitting on the departmental personnel committee. His most recent teaching and research interests are gerontology, demography, and race and minority relations. Denton co-authored In the Shadow of a Defense Plant: A Study of Urbanization in Rural South Carolina in 1954 and has reviewed books on gerontology. Denton was awarded emeritus status by the Board of Trustees in March 1992. He and his wife Bebe live in Boone. Sources: Appalachian State University files and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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