Back to Top
Top Nav content Site Footer
University Home

Archive Research Center

University Honors

Mayor, City of Birmingham, Alabama

Honorary Doctor of Laws



Background information is taken from biographical sketch and correspondence in University archive files. Biographical sketch provided by the office of Mayor Arrington. Mayor Arrington graduated with honors from Miles College, a tiny Black institution near Birmingham; a master's degree in biology from the University of Detroit; and, a PhD in zoology and biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma. He returned to Miles College and began teaching biology where, after sever years as a faculty member, became the academic dean of the school. Dr. Arrington later studied higher education administration at Harvard University. Returning to Birmingham, he accepted the position of Executive Director, Alabama Center for Higher Education a consortium of eight Black senior colleges in Alabama. At the same time he served as a part-time faculty member at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Concurrently, Dr. Arrington's political involvement was expanding. In 1971 and 1975 he was elected to four year terms on the Birmingham City Council; immediately following was his election to two consecutive terms as Mayor of the city of Birmingham. A survey of civic, financial, and political leaders in metropolitan Birmingham chose Mayor Arrington as the number one leader in the city. With a commitment to community service, Mayor Arrington served as a member of the executive boards of the Boy Scouts of America, the Salvation Army, the National Goodwill Industry, the Birmingham Urban League, and Positive Maturity. Mayor Arrington's commitment to Black higher education was recognized when he was twice elected to head the local united Negro College Fund drive. He served as chairman of the drafting committee for the 1984 Democratic Party Platform and presided over the debate surrounding the adoption of the platform at the National Democratic Convention. Dr. Arrington was recognized by Newsweek Magazine as one of the outstanding new faces in the Democratic Party for the 1980's; he is the first Black person to be chosen "Man of the Year" in Birmingham; the Birmingham Bar Association selected Dr. Arrington to receive the Liberty Bell Award in recognition of his unstinting support for the law; for four consecutive years Ebony Magazine listed the Mayor as one of the nation's 100 most influential Black Americans; and the Alabama chapters of the American Society of Public Administration selected him as "Administrator of the Year" for his outstanding leadership ability. Commencement, University of Detroit, May 11, 1985.

University of Detroit

Back to Top