LELAND WEBER MILES was born on January 18, 1924 in Baltimore Maryland. In 1948, he received his Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina, after which he accepted a job as chair of the English Department at Hanover College in Indiana. Next he served as the Director of English Programs for the University of Cincinnati’s Colleges of Engineering, Business Administration and Fine Arts from 1960-1963. Then he moved to the University of Bridgeport as the Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. From there he went to serve as president of Alfred University until 1974, when he returned to the University of Bridgeport to become its president.
President Miles was an active member of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP). He frequently served as the representative of IAUP at the United Nations. Miles was inspired by Rodrigo Carazo, President of Costa Rica, who established the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica, and awarded him an honorary doctorate from UB.
Miles encouraged other university presidents to promote peace studies at their universities:
Peace you’ve got to work at, peace you’ve got to create, peace you’ve got to make, peace you’ve got to produce. And the only way I know to produce it is through education, which is our business. Let all of us in our own ways attempt to build on our respective campuses constituencies for peace—we have constituencies for fraternities, constituencies for drugs, constituencies for better jazz concerts—by requiring some kind of internationalized curriculum for all our students. Let’s not leave the critical task of survival to Costa Rica alone. —Leland Miles to IAUP
Miles returned to the University of Bridgeport to a warm welcome from President Neil Albert Salonen, faculty, board members, and friends on Dec. 4, 2001 for a reception and signing of his book Provoking Thought: What Colleges Should Do for Students.