Alabama Academy of Honor


S. Richardson Hill

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1974, amended in 1998, and updated in 2003.



Dr. S. Richardson Hill, Jr., President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of The University of Alabama at Birmingham, was a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, and a graduate of Duke University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University. He took postgraduate training as an intern, resident, and fellow in medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hill's professional field of interest was in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he held Board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He began his career at UAB in 1954 as director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and in 1962 was named dean of the Medical College of Alabama. In 1968 he was appointed UAB vice president for health affairs, and nine years later, he became the University's second president, a position he held for ten years. He also served as the first director of the University of Alabama System Medical Education Program, during the years 1972 to 1979. This program encompasses medical education and training programs at the three University campuses in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Huntsville.

Dr. Hill served on many prestigious committees and advisory groups in the health field, and was recognized as one of the country's leading authorities in the area of health manpower training and the delivery of health care services. Among the important national posts he held were the presidency of the Association of Academic Health Centers and the presidency of the American Federation for Clinical Research. He was appointed to the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, and served as the Chairman of the Board in 1979-80. He was a member of many of the nation's most distinguished societies, and was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine and to the Alabama Academy of Honor. He recieved honorary Doctor of Science degrees from both Wake Forest University and The University of Alabama.

Dr. Hill served as Chairman of Governor Wallace's Task Force on Economic Recovery in 1982-83. He served on the Governor's Advisory Committee on Mental Health, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. From 1981 to 1985 Dr. Hill served on the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and was chairman of that group in 1983. He also served as a director of Vulcan Materials Company from 1981-1992. He was a member of the Mountain Brook Club, and served on the board of The Club and the boards of many local civic groups and organizations.

He and his wife, Janet, were active in the community and cultural life of Birmingham. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

Dr. Hill died in July 2003.