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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Knoxville couple has “adopted” the University of Tennessee Libraries, setting up trust funds totaling more than $700,000 for library acquisitions.

Paul and Marion Miles established a $100,000 trust in their names during the Tennessee Imperative library campaign in 1989. Since the 21st Century Campaign was announced last year, they have created three additional funds that bring the total to more than $700,000, UT-Knoxville Chancellor William Snyder said.

Paul Miles, who is with American Express Financial Advisors, is chairing the University Libraries’ $5 million phase of the campaign. UT-Knoxville’s overall goal is $130 million.

“The Mileses are very special people,” Snyder said. “They did not attend UT but have adopted our campus, giving generously and freely of their time and resources.

“Thousands of students and faculty will benefit because they chose to support our libraries.”

Paula Kaufman, dean of libraries, said the Mileses sought to support a unit of the university that would benefit the entire campus.

“Many of Mr. Miles’ clients are members of the university community. Rather than try to single out one or a few programs to support, he and Mrs. Miles chose the library because it serves the entire university,” Kaufman said.

When the Mileses saw a copy of the library’s strategic plan a couple of years ago, Kaufman said they noticed a section on rewarding and motivating staff.

“They provide an annual cash award, which we call the Miles 500, that goes to the library employee who makes the best suggestion for improving library services or efficiency,” Kaufman said.

In addition to their support of the university, the Mileses are active in a number of community organizations.

Marion Miles is a member of the Knoxville Symphony League, past president of Fountinalis, and is a Sunday school teacher at Central Baptist Church of Fountain City.

Paul Miles is a member of the Chancellor’s Associates, past chair of the Library Friends Executive Committee and a deacon at Central Baptist.

“East Tennessee has provided us with a good life,” he said. “Although we did not attend the University of Tennessee and are not natives of this area, we chose the University Libraries to be the recipient of our gift back to the people of East Tennessee.”

The Mileses say they particularly enjoy the cultural opportunities and athletic events the university offers.

“Gradually over the years, our blood has turned to a vivid orange,” he said.

Paul Miles has been named to his company’s hall of fame and was designated a master planner.

Contact: Paula Kaufman (423-974-4127)