Charles E. Porterfield, Ph.D.



Bonnie Van Vlymen, “Charles E. Porterfield, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 19, 2024,

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Charles E. Porterfield, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Bonnie Van Vlymen




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Speech Charles Ellington Porterfield (March 10,1922-) was born in Anniston, Alabama. He attended Birmingham-Southern College, AL (1940-44) from which he received a B.A. degree in speech. He received an M.A. degree in speech-public address from the State University of Iowa (1947-48) and a Ph.D. degree in speech-public address from Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) in 1965. Prior to his appointment to Appalachian State University in 1968, he taught at the University of Alabama—Montgomery (1952-55), the University of Alabama (1955-58), Birmingham— Southern College (1958-61), and Central Missouri State College (Warrensburg, 1962-68). Dr. Porterfield was a member of the U.S. Navy for four years during World War II and served in the Pacific Theater. In addition to teaching, Dr. Porterfield has pursued his interests in theatre performing with Birmingham Alabama Starlight Opera, Blue Ridge Community Theatre, Horn in the West and the Appalachian State University Threatre. Porterfield is married to Rebecca and they have three daughters, Rebecca Ellington (I960-), Mary Lee (1967-), and Jane Anne (1968-). All three daughters have received advanced degrees in theatre arts. The Porterfields make their home in Boone, NC, and upon completion of after-retirement-duties during summer school at Appalachian, the Porterfields will make their home in Orange County, NC, where "Becky" will continue her career with the state and Dr. Porterfield will do part-time teaching and volunteer work. Dr. Porterfield's professional affiliations have included Speech Communication Association, Southern Speech Communication Association, American Forensic Association, National Educational Association, American Association of University Professors, Association for Communication Administration, North Carolina Speech and Drama Association, North Carolina Theatre Conference, National Association of Educational Broadcasters, Pi Kappa Delta, Theta Alpha Phi, and the Carolinas Speech Communications Association from whom he received the Betty Jo Welch Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Speech Communications Profession. Other honors awarded Dr. Porterfield include the Watauga High School Annual Forensic Tournament being named the Porterfield Tournament in his honor; receiving the Outstanding Greek Fraternity Advisor Award for four consecutive years (1988-91); and, of course, the honor of which he is most proud: the Appalachian State University Student Government Association's Outstanding Teacher in the College of Fine and Applied Arts Award. Dr. Porterfield was an advisor for 12 years for the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, is an active member of the Boone United Methodist Church serving on the Administrative Board and as a member of the Chancel Choir, chairperson of the Councils of Ministries and Sunday school teacher for the teenagers in his church as well as serving as a member of the Wesley Foundation Board of Trustees. He also has served as secretary and president of the High Country Coalition of Churches and as a member of the Board of the Hospitality House. He was tenured at Appalachian in 1970. That same year he was appointed the chairperson of the Department of Speech. He retired at the end of the 1993-94 academic year at which time he was also awarded the rank of professor emeritus. Charles and Becky will retire to the Orange County, NC, area where Becky will continue her job with the state and Charles will do part-time teaching and volunteer work. Sources: Appalachian State University files. -Ms. Bonnie Van Vlymen

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