Ellison Miles

Community Champion and Legacy Leader

He was a decorated World War II hero who became a legendary wildcatter in the boom years of Texas oil fields. Ellison Miles was also a Texas-sized philanthropist who remains the largest individual benefactor of the DCCCD Foundation, with donations totaling approximately$10 million.

After working as an oilfield roughneck, graduating from the University of Houston and flying 25 combat missions over Europe, Miles returned to the oil and gas industry in Texas. He founded the Miles Production Company in 1946, and with geologist John A. Jackson made the famous Boonesville discovery of natural gas in Wise County in 1951.

Throughout his colorful lifetime, he remained a strong supporter of education, especially with DCCCD and its seven colleges. His initial $1-million contribution to the Rising Star scholarship program, with an additional $4.5 million donation from his estate after his death in 2004, remains the largest individual donation to the endowed fund.

The Rising Star scholarship program provides tuition and books to about 3,000 graduating high school students annually in Dallas County.

Miles also gave $3.5 million to build the 20,000-square-foot Ellison Miles Building, developed through a partnership with the Dallas Geological Society and the Dallas Geophysical Society. It provides continuing education for industry professionals, teacher training for using GIS and GPS systems, houses the college’s Geographic Information Systems program, and was one of only four such facilities of its kind in the country.

A $300,000 donation established the Miles Production Company Scholarship for students demonstrating financial need. He also provided funds to establish the Miles Production Company Excellence in Teaching Award, which gives a cash award and plaque each year to teachers or staff members at the seven colleges of DCCCD who excel in their profession.

It’s no wonder that in the books of the DCCCD Foundation, Ellison Miles holds a unique place as “Community Champion and Legacy Leader” of the college district.