Miles College

Miles College
Latin: Sapientia et Pax et Amor Omnibus
Former names
Miles Memorial College
Motto"Knowledge and Peace and Love for all."
TypePrivate historically black college
Religious affiliation
CME Church
Academic affiliations
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference[1]
PresidentBobbie Knight
Administrative staff
Location, ,

33°28′50″N 86°54′32″W / 33.48056°N 86.90889°W / 33.48056; -86.90889Coordinates: 33°28′50″N 86°54′32″W / 33.48056°N 86.90889°W / 33.48056; -86.90889
Campus76 acres (310,000 m2)
Colors   Purple & gold[1]
NicknameGolden Bears[1]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division II[1]
MascotThe Golden Bear
Miles Memorial College Historic District
Miles College is located in Alabama
Miles College
Miles College is located in the United States
Miles College
Area76 acres (31 ha)
Built1907 (1907)
ArchitectTisdale, Stone & Patton; Gilreath Construction
Architectural styleBungalow/Craftsman, Beaux Arts
NRHP reference No.93001031[2]
Added to NRHPJanuary 3, 1994

Miles College is a private historically black college in Fairfield, Alabama. Founded in 1898, it is associated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME Church) and a member of the United Negro College Fund.


The college, c. 1910

Miles College began organization efforts in 1893 and was founded in 1898 by the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. It was chartered as Miles Memorial College, in honor of Bishop William H. Miles. In 1941 the name was changed to Miles College.

Modern history

In January 2020, Charles Barkley, who is an Alabama native, donated $1 million to Miles College, under first female President Dr. Bobbie Knight. Barkley's gift is the biggest donation from a single person that the school has ever received. Dr. Knight said the donation will kickstart efforts to raise $100 million.[3]


Miles is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (for the awarding of baccalaureate degrees), the Alabama State Department of Education, and the Council of Social Work Education. Miles College offers 25 bachelor's degrees in the following divisions: Business and Accounting, Communications, Education, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences. Miles College is one of 41 schools in the nation with a Center of Academic Excellence under the office of the Director of National Intelligence.[4][5][6]

Miles offers 28 Bachelor's degree programs in six academic divisions to an enrollment of approximately 1,700 students and also offers an honors program for undergraduate students with exceptional academic records.[7]


Miles College purchased the Lloyd Noland Hospital site, which more than doubled the size of the campus. The college completed the construction of a new student activity and dining center, a new welcome and admissions center, and a new 204 bed residence hall. Part of the campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Sloan Alumni Stadium, named after the college's 13th president, Albert J. H. Sloan II, was recently expanded to include a $1 million Environ-Turf field.

Student activities

Organizations for students include the Student Government Association, Honors Curriculum, academic clubs, religious organizations, National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations, general interest clubs, a gospel choir, and a concert choir.

Radio Station

The school operates a radio station, WMWI FM 88.7. It was established in 2009 and is licensed to Demopolis, Alabama.[8]

Marching band

The Miles College band is known as the Purple Marching Machine (PMM). The Purple Marching Machine was established in 1996, under the direction of Prof. Arthur Means, Jr. There are nearly 200 members in the band now and it is under the direction of Willie Snipes Jr. The band has performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, numerous battle of the bands, and for the Atlanta Falcons. The College most recently made history in 2019 when Hosheria WF Young was appointed the First Female Drum Major in the history of the HBCU. The marching band is accompanied by the Golden Stars danceline and Steaming Flags color guard.[9]


The Miles College athletics program competes in the NCAA Division II's Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). The program has men's and women's sports that include: basketball, football, volleyball, track, baseball, softball, cross country, and golf. Their mascot is the Golden Bears.[1]


L. L. Wilson, –1904; R. S. Williams, –1907; James Bray, 1907–1912; William A. Bell, 1912–1913; John Wesley Gilbert, 1913–1914; George A. Payne, 1914–1918; Robert T. Brown, 1918–1922; George L. Word, 1922–1926; Mack Burley, 1926–1931; Brooks Dickens, 1931–1936; William A. Bell, 1936–1961; Lucius Pitts, 1961–1971; W. Clyde Williams, 1971–1986; Leroy Johnson, 1986–1989; Albert Sloan, 1989–2005; George French Jr, 2006–August 31, 2019; Bobbie Knight (interim), September 1, 2019 – March 5, 2020; Bobbie Knight, March 5, 2020–

Notable alumni

Notable faculty and staff

See also


Further reading

External links