Alabama Academy of Honor
The Alabama Academy of Honor is a statewide honorary society made up of 100 living members, all citizens of Alabama, chosen to recognize their "accomplishment or service greatly benefitting or reflecting great credit on the State"[sic].
The idea of creating an honor for living Alabamians was suggested by UAB biochemistry professor Emmett Carmichael in 1965. He was inspired by the example of the Missouri Academy of Squires. He communicated with Governor George Wallace and succeeded in having an enabling bill passed under the sponsorship of Malcolm Bethea during that legislative session. The law authorized the Governor to appoint a nominating committee and established an annual appropriation of $2,000 to the Academy to provide for stationery, pins, plaques, and an annual banquet.
Though Wallace signed the bill on October 29, 1965, the demands of his office and presidential campaigns left the organization of the Academy unfulfilled. No progress was made during the shortened term of his wife and successor Lurleen Wallace, but after Albert Brewer succeeded her in 1968 he agreed to appoint a nominating committee.
Brewer appointed Henry Aldridge, Bill Hearn, Bob Inman, Jake Merrill, Harry Philpott, C. J. Coley, Walter Graham, Carl C. Morgan, Herbert Goldstein, Paul Robinson, Emmett Carmichael, Duard LeGrand, A. P. Reich, Mrs James Britain, Mrs Houston Glover, and Howell Heflin to the nominating committee. Carmichael was elected to chair the committee, which announced the members of its first class on October 25, 1968.
The first class, inducted on August 25, 1969, was made up of fourteen members. In subsequent years the committee could select as many as ten new members, up to the stipulated total enrollment of 100 members. The organizing committee elected to put the choice of future nominees to a vote of the members. Since all living governors are granted automatic membership, the total size of the Academy can exceed 100 temporarily.
Hugo Black is the only nominee who has declined to be inducted, citing a vow to avoid membership in such societies during his service on the Supreme Court. Mervyn Sterne was selected as an inductee, but died before the actual induction ceremony. When a member died, they technically drop off of the Academy's roll, but their biographies are preserved on the Academy's website as memorials.
- Class of 1969: Winton Blount, Albert Brewer, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Jim Folsom Sr, A. G. Gaston, Lister Hill, Thomas Moorer, John Patterson, Frank Rose, Frank Samford Sr, Bertha Smolian, John Sparkman, Werner von Braun and George Wallace. Patterson was elected chair of the Academy, with Milo Howard Jr, director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, serving as secretary.
- Class of 1972: Tinsley Harrison, Ralph "Shug" Jordan, John Persons, Harry Philpott, Albert Rains
- Class of 1973: Emmett Carmichael, Paul Grist, Forest Mathews, Thomas Russell, Frank Spain, Mervyn Sterne, Ernest Stone, Joseph Volker, Leslie Wright
- Class of 1974: Clinton Coley, Donald Comer Jr, Luther Foster, Howell Heflin, S. Richardson Hill, John Kirklin, Thomas Lawson, J. Craig Smith, Hudson Strode, Luther Terry
- Class of 1975: Rucker Agee, J. B. Allen, Joseph Bedsole, Ben Gilmer, Milo Howard Jr, Charles McCallum, Earl McGowin, Julia Russell, William Rushton Jr
- Class of 1976: Ehney Camp Jr, R. Hugh Daniel, John A. Hand, Ruth Hanson, George Mattison Jr, Robert Parker, Nell Rankin, Barrett Shelton, William Spencer III, Jack Warner
- Class of 1977: Ralph Adams, John Bloomer, John Caddell, Emory Cunningham, Carl Elliot, Walter Frommeyer, James Galbraith, Thomas Hill, Robert E. Jones, Walter Kennedy
- Class of 1978: Douglas Arant, Glen Brock, Alfred Delchamps, George LeMaistre, Seybourn Lynne, John McRae, Pelham Merrill, Bernard Monaghan, Armistead Seldon Jr, and Fred Sington
- Class of 1979: Robert Bamberg Jr, Neal Berte, Walter Gewin, James Hardin, Fob James, Frank Johnson Jr, Joseph McCorquodale, Fran McKee, Charles Rather, William Rushton III
- Class of 1980: John Chenault, John Harbert III, William Hulsey, Thomas James, Kench Lott Jr, James E. Mills, Frank Samford Jr, Arthur Shores
- Class of 1981: Travis Bedsole, William Blount, Charles Clayton, Conrad Fowler
- Class of 1982: Young Boozer, Buris Boshell, Kenneth Daniel, Jeremiah Denton, Glenn Ireland II, Kirkman O'Neal, Prime Francis Osborn III, James Pittman, Howard Skipper, Mary Waite
- Class of 1983: Charlie Boswell, Thomas Bradford, Harry Brock Jr, Joseph Lanier, John McKinley, William Nichols, Frank Plummer, Joab Thomas, Frank Yielding Jr
- Class of 1984: Wallace Bunn, Oliver Delchamps Jr, Joseph Farley, Henry Goodrich, John Woods
- Class of 1985: Joseph Brunp, William Edwards III, Emil Hess, William Sellers
- Class of 1986: Tom Bevill, Wallace Malone, Ira Myers, Thomas Rast, Louis Willie Jr
- Class of 1987: Thomas Bartlett, Claude Bennett, Edward Friend Jr, Guy Hunt, Joseph Lanier Jr, James Lee Jr, Ernest Williams
- Class of 1988: Aaron Aronov, Carl Bailey, Eugene Gwaltney, Olin King, Yetta Samford Jr, James Wilson Jr
- Class of 1989: Houston Brice Jr, Garry Drummond, Daniel McCall Jr, Holt Rast
- Class of 1990: Max D. Cooper, Willard Hurley, Crawford Johnson III, James E. Martin, Joseph Moquin
- Class of 1991: Harry Ayers, Basil Hirschowitz, Barrett Shelton Jr, Bill Edmonds, Frank Moody, Margaret Tutwiler
- Class of 1993: David Bronner, Tom Carruthers, Jim Folsom Jr, Elmer Harris, Earl Sayers
- Class of 1995: Philip Austin, Elton B. Stephens, E. O. Wilson
- Class of 1996: Ann Bedsole, Thomas Bradford Jr, Frank Bromberg Jr, Alston Callahan, Thomas Corts, Edward Friend III, William Spencer III
- Class of 1997: James Clark, Emory Folmar, Robert Luckie Jr, Benjamin Russell, Herb Sklenar, Larry Striplin
- Class of 1998: Charles LeMaistre, Stanley Mackin, Lee Styslinger Jr, Robert Weil
- Class of 1999: J. Mason Davis Jr, Drayton Nabers Jr, Sabert Oglesby Jr, Don Siegelman
- Class of 2000: John McMahon Jr, William Muse, Sandral Hullett, Rosa Parks
- Class of 2001: Ann Reynolds, Harper Lee, Sidney McDonald, Marvin Engel, Thomas Meredith
- Class of 2002: James Head, John Godbold, George Murray, Condoleezza Rice, Cordell Wynn
- Class of 2003: Bob Riley, Don Logan, Malcolm Portera, Van Richey, Kathryn Tucker Windham
- Class of 2004:Bill Cabaniss, Catherine Randall, Hall Thompson, Cameron Vowell, William Warren Jr
- Class of 2005: Fred Gray, Ted C. Kennedy, Richard Shelby, Gail Trechsel
- Class of 2006: Regina Benjamin, Miller Gorrie, Bill Ireland, Edwin Bridges, Wayne Flynt
- Class of 2007: Hank Aaron, Leah Rawls Atkins, Mike Goodrich, James Harrison Jr
- Class of 2008: Vaughan Morrissette, William E. Smith Jr, Odessa Woolfolk
- Class of 2009: Angus Cooper II, Donald James, James Dean Martin, Charles McCrary, Frank Stitt
- Class of 2010: John Buchanan, Elbert Drummond, Carol Garrison
- Class of 2011: Robert Bentley, Charles Anderson, David Cooper, John Denson II, J. M. Jenkins IV, Barbara Larson, John Lewis, Robert Witt
- Class of 2012: Ralph Cook, Jay Gogue, Alice Lee, Tommy Lowder, Beverly Phifer, James Stephens
- Class of 2013: Johnny Johns, Boots Gale, Seth Hammett
- Class of 2014: Judy Bonner, Tim Cook, John Croyle, Jim Hudson Jr, Margaret Porter, Nick Saban, Jeff Sessions, Edgar Weldon
- Class of 2015: Richard Arrington, Raymond Harbert, Bo Jackson, Charles Krulak, Caroline Novak, Randy Owen
- Class of 2016: Jack Hawkins Jr, Claude Nielsen
- Class of 2017: Kay Ivey, Deborah Edwards Barnhart, Cynthia Tucker Haynes, Cathy Sloss Jones
- Randall, Catherine J. (October 22, 2015) "Alabama Academy of Honor celebrates 50th anniversary, highlights outstanding citizens." The Birmingham News
- Alabama Academy of Honor website