Dr. William Vernon Skiles

1879 to 1947

Dr. Skiles joined the Georgia Tech family in 1906 as an assistant professor of mathematics. At the time of his retirement, he had held the post of Executive Dean at Georgia Tech longer than any other man. He was born in Troygrove, Illinois in 1879 and graduated from Illinois State Normal University in Loda, Illnois. He entered the University of Chicago and recieved his bachelor of science degree in 1906. He immediately came to Tech as an assistant professor in Mathematics. He later recieved his masters and doctorate from University of Georgia. He quickly developed rapport with students as “a forceful leader and tough taskmaster;” qualities which gained the student body respect. In 1925, Skiles was appointed as the executive dean of Tech and his legacy truly began. As the executive Dean, Dr. Skiles helped carry the school through the World War Two era and assisted in the creation of the forerunner to the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Dean Skiles retired in 1945 and shortly after the school’s faculty donated money to create the “Dean Skiles Fund” which helped pay for faculty events and gifts. Skiles once said, “The teaching profession has advantage over all others. The doctor sees the boy when he is sick, the lawyer sees him when he is in trouble but the teacher sees him when he is young, ambitious and happy.”

Notable Accomplishments: 
  • Executive Dean of Georgia Tech
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Member of the Georgia Academy of Science
  • Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education
  • Phi Beta Kappa