Dr. Minnie Caddell Miles, 1910 - 2001

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Dr. Minnie Caddell Miles, 1910 - 2001


Civic leaders


Dr. Minnie C. Miles was a professor in the School of Business at the University of Alabama who died in 2001, leaving a legacy of leadership, civil service, and activism.

This photo was taken at her 90th birthday in 2000. A resolution issued by The University of Alabama's Board of Trustees at that time stated, "...in her ninety years, this soft-spoken, determined, influential leader, humanitarian, and teacher has affected the lives of decades of students, citizens, and women nationally and internationally..."

Miles was born in 1910 to Thomas Edward Caddell and Bertha Evelyn Griggs Caddell in Glen Allen, Alabama. She earned a teaching degree from Florence State Normal School (now the University of North Alabama) in 1928. She went to Texas to earn her Bachelor's from Mary Hardin-Baylor College in general business, an area dominated by men. She then earned a Master’s in personnel management from Northwestern University and later earned her PhD from Purdue University in industrial psychology, in spite of the dean's admonition that "we don't encourage women to come into our program."

Miles began her lifetime of service to the University of Alabama in 1942 as an instructor, becoming one of the first women to hold a faculty position in the College of Business. She earned various teaching awards and student accolades, including that of Vivian Malone Jones, the first black graduate of the university. Jones stated that Dr. Miles was a constant source of support and inspiration. "She acted as a mentor; she offered me guidance, assistance, and help when others did not feel comfortable in doing so. She was a caring person who was willing to step out and take a stand when it wasn't popular to do so."

Miles was a tireless leader at national and international levels in efforts to achieve equality in the workplace. An active, founding member of the Alabama Federation of Business and Professional Women, she became president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women in 1962.

In 1963 she stood at the shoulder of President John F. Kennedy as he signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara appointed Miles to the Defense Committee on Women in Services, which led to a bill that removed restrictions on promoting women in the military. She later served in numerous other leadership roles in pursuing equality for women. She later served in numerous other leadership roles in pursuing equality for women including work with the US Civil Service Commission, NASA, Federal Aviation Administration, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Marshall Flight Space Center.

Dr. Miles also leaves a legacy of generosity and civic service. She was one of the first individuals to establish a University of Alabama annuity trust to promote faculty excellence and scholarships for women. Not only did she initiate this early trust, Dr. Miles was a leader in spearheading and supporting a wide-range of endowed funds. Among these endowed funds are the Frank Rose - Minnie Miles Endowed Commerce & Business Administration Professor of Leadership, and the Minnie C. Miles Endowed Graduate Scholarship.

Her leadership and service was broad and touched the lives of many citizens during her lifetime. Dr. Miles was a founding member of the Alturas Club, Chair of the Wesley Foundation at UA, and national trainer and spokesperson for the Widowed Person's Service of the American Association of Retired Persons. Her work with the Tombigbee Council of the Girl Scouts earned her a Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University.

Dr. Miles was one of only 13 recipients of the Governor's Women in Leadership Awards in 1989; was awarded an honorary doctorate from Mary Hardin-Baylor University; named "Woman of Achievement" in Alabama; and received the Soroptimist "Women Helping Women" Award and the International Women's Year Award of Achievement.

In 1993, Dr. Miles was named the Tuscaloosa County Citizen of the Year for her service and impact on people throughout the community. In addition, she was honored by induction into the Alabama Women's Academy of Honor as well as the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

Miles retired from the University as Professor Emeriti of Organizational Behavior in 1978 and died in 2001.

In 2005, she was inducted posthumously into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

Material from the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama was used in this description. Additional information can be found at :


Tuscaloosa News Archive
Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama


The Tuscaloosa News




Betty Slowe (Description)
Elizabeth Bradt (Description)






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