Charles D. McCrary ’73

McCrary graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1973 before earning his Juris Doctor from the Birmingham School of Law in 1978. Following his freshman year at Auburn in 1970, he joined the Alabama Power Company and, following graduation, worked for the company in various positions in engineering, system planning, fuels and environmental affairs. In 2001, McCrary was named president and CEO of Alabama Power, where he brought his culture of consistently applied best practices to a company responsible for providing electricity to 1.4 million customers in the state of Alabama. Under his leadership, Southern Company Generation became the largest electric producer in the Southeast and the leader in environmental awareness. He retired from Alabama Power in 2014 but continues to serve as independent chair of the Board of Directors for Regions Financial Corporation and as a director of Great Southern Woods Holding. McCrary has served his hometown of Birmingham, as well as Auburn University, in innumerable ways. While a student at Auburn, he was a member of Lambda Chi fraternity. He served Auburn as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2004-22 and serves on the Auburn Engineering Council, the Engineering Strategic Leadership Team, the Engineering Keystone Society and the Engineering Ginn Society.

In Birmingham, he serves on the Auburn University President’s Advisory Council Birmingham, or ACBHM, and has served as chairman of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and chairman of the Birmingham Urban Revitalization Partnership. He served on the boards of AmSouth Bancorporation, Children First Foundation, Business Council of Alabama, Children’s Hospital, the Birmingham Museum of Art, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc., Metropolitan Development Board and the State of Alabama Archives and History Foundation. McCrary was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2018. In 2014, he was awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award by the United Negro College Fund Birmingham for his contribution to educational advancement, minority advocacy and community development. In 2015, the Alabama Power Foundation honored McCrary by founding the McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security at Auburn University to advance the research and development of new energy system technologies to improve the reliability and security of the power grid and related civil and industrial infrastructure critical to our nation’s operations. McCrary and his wife, Phyllis, are members of the 1856 Society, the Petrie Society, the Foy Society and are life members of the Auburn Alumni Association. The couple has two children: Alex ’05 and Doug.

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