Bishop Douglas Irving Miles, an alumnus of Johns Hopkins University and a longtime partner in the university’s local economic inclusion efforts, died Aug. 3. He was 72.
University President Ron Daniels expressed profound sadness on behalf of the entire Hopkins community upon learning of Miles’ death, describing him as “one of Baltimore’s great leaders” and “a true friend to Baltimore, to all its citizens, and to his alma mater.”
Daniels, Johns Hopkins University, and Miles’ family are remembering his impact through the creation of the Bishop Douglas Miles Scholarship Fund. These scholarship funds will act as a continuation of the good work Miles started and will offer life-changing educational opportunities to deserving future applicants.
A native of Baltimore, Miles was a senior at Dunbar High School when he pictured himself heading out west for college and studying to be a doctor or a science teacher. His plans changed when he experienced what he would later describe as a calling to the ministry, prompting him to stay in Baltimore, enroll at Johns Hopkins University in 1966, and shift his academic focus to the humanities. He later pursued religious education at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Roland Park, according to The Baltimore Sun.
During his undergraduate years at Hopkins, Miles witnessed great upheaval in a city divided by color lines — an experience that would help shape him into a transformational force for both the university and Baltimore.
Among his greatest accomplishments are those he achieved as co-chair of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD). BUILD brings together congregations, public schools, and neighborhood associations to improve the city’s housing, increase local job opportunities, and rebuild and support schools and neighborhoods. Through it all, Miles led Koinonia Baptist Church and maintained his connections to Johns Hopkins, serving as a critical partner in several of the university’s economic inclusion efforts, including the HopkinsLocal and BLocal initiatives, which have expanded Hopkins’ local hiring and investments in Baltimore.
In 2018, in recognition of his deep and unwavering commitment to Baltimore, the university awarded Miles an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, honoris causa.
“His life was truly dedicated to realizing the full promise of this city and to the idea that each of us had a role to play in achieving that goal,” Daniels says, describing Miles as a dear friend. “I am so grateful to have witnessed his impact, his humanity, and his devotion to the city we all love.”
Read more about Bishop Miles’ extraordinary life and legacy.
Topics: Alumni, Faculty and Staff, Johns Hopkins, Support Scholars