Alabama Academy of Honor


W. Ann Reynolds

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2001 and altered in October 2002.



W. Ann Reynolds was named President of The University of Alabama at Birmingham in July 1997 and served until June 2002.

She was previously Chancellor of The City University of New York for seven years (1990-1997). In that capacity, she provided executive leadership for the CUNY system, which includes 21 colleges and professional schools with 208,000 students.

Prior to her CUNY post, Dr. Reynolds was Chancellor of The California State University for eight years (1982-1990) and held academic ranks at the UCLA School of Medicine as clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and professor of biology at Cal State-Dominquez Hills.

Dr. Reynolds is a former provost of The Ohio State University (1979-1982) where she held dual academic appointments in anatomy and obstetrics and gynecology. She also is former Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate College, University of Illinois at the Medical Center (1977-1979), where she was on the anatomy faculty from 1965-1979.

Earning her Ph.D. (1962) and M.S. (1960) in zoology from the University of Iowa, Dr. Reynolds received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Kansas State Teachers College (1958). Born in Coffeyville, Kansas, she was a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and an honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

She has received ten honorary degrees and sits on a number of corporate and public sector boards of directors.

As UAB’s fifth president, Dr. Reynolds oversees Alabama’s largest employer, with some 16,000 faculty and staff and a $1 billion budget. UAB attracts almost 16,000 students from around the nation and the world to its six liberal arts and sciences schools and six health-professional schools. With more than $300 million in sponsored research, UAB is among the top 20 universities in the country for direct funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Reynolds’ influence, leadership, and service to the state of Alabama are far-reaching. She not only works tirelessly for UAB and for funding to improve and expand its programs, she also devotes much time and energy to community efforts. A Birmingham News poll of 4,000 members of the city’s metropolitan area civic organizations showed that respondents consider Dr. Ann Reynolds one of Birmingham’s ten most influential leaders.

Dr. Reynolds is now Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Community Outreach and Development (CORD) at UAB.

Dr. Reynolds is married to Thomas Kirschbaum, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UAB. She has two children – Rachel Rebecca Reynolds, a graduate student in English at the University of Illinois, and Rex King Reynolds, a strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York.