By Tyler Greer
Charles A. “Scotty” McCallum, Jr., DMD, M.D., the third president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a pillar of the community for 70 years, died Saturday.
McCallum (1925-2021) became the third president of UAB in April 1987 and served until September 1993.
“Our university family and the Birmingham community have lost a fierce advocate and a wonderful friend,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Scotty believed in the people of this university, their work and their mission to provide a quality education to all and to build a medical facility that could care for the people of our state and beyond. Without his visionary leadership and dedication, UAB would not be the world-class institution it is today. Nancy and I are eternally grateful for Scotty’s life and join the UAB Family in sending our deepest sympathies to the McCallum family.”
Before being named UAB’s third president, McCallum served as Vice President for Health Affairs, dean of the School of Dentistry and chair of the Department of Oral Surgery. McCallum came to Birmingham in 1951 as an oral surgery intern and earned his medical doctorate in 1957 from what was then known as the Birmingham medical school. After he retired from UAB, McCallum served two terms as mayor of Vestavia Hills.
On Dec. 12, 1996, the McCallum Basic Health Sciences Building was named in honor of his service to UAB, and in 2006, a life-size Scotty McCallum statue by sculptor Ira Chaffin was installed at the UAB Mini Park. McCallum, who announced UAB entry to NCAA Division III football in March 13, 1991, was inducted into the UAB Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.
McCallum told the Vulcan Park and Museum when he was honored with the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, “There are many things that bring me joy. What I love doing is working with the people in this community who are so wonderful. I’m lucky that I came to Birmingham back in 1951. When you’re making other people happy, I think that’s so important. We’re here because God put us here to make this a better world and a better place and to be kind to other human beings. It’s a beautiful, beautiful challenge.”