Charles McCrary, '73 mechanical engineering, served as president and chief executive officer of Alabama Power Company, following a distinguished 40-year career with the company. His record of leadership and service to Alabama Power Company is widely recognized, and his impact on the State of Alabama is undeniable.
Charles was introduced to Alabama Power Company early in his life through the work of his father, and began his own career with the company in the summer of 1970 following his freshman year at Auburn University. He went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn, as well as a Juris Doctor from Birmingham School of Law. Throughout his career, Charles steadily moved into roles of increasing responsibility within the company, proving time and again that his leadership skills and keen sense of vision could carry the company through various challenging times.
In addition to a commitment to his profession, Charles has been actively involved in the community, both in Birmingham and across the state. He has provided leadership and support to numerous businesses, civic and educational programs, and as an avid outdoorsman, serving on the board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Charles also has remained deeply devoted to the advancement of Auburn University, currently serving on its Board of Trustees. His service on the Presidential Search Committee was influential in bringing new leadership to the university. His participation in the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council, his role in securing funding for the Alabama Power Academic Excellence Program and the Alabama Power Nuclear Power Generation Systems program, and his personal philanthropic support of the university, are evidence of his commitment to higher education and to future generations.
His service to the university has helped us remain focused on our three-fold mission of education, research and extension. As such, Auburn has developed prominent expertise in areas related to Alabama Power Company’s core mission of providing affordable, reliable electricity that impacts Alabama’s economy and improves the quality of life for its citizens. In recognition of Charles’ service and dedication to this mission, Auburn University proposes to honor Charles through the establishment of The Charles D. McCrary Institute at Auburn University.
The institute will advance the research and development of new energy system technologies to improve the reliability and security of the power grid and related civil/industrial infrastructure critical to our nation’s security and financial stability. Additionally, because wise utilization of resources improves overall efficiency, the institute will incorporate knowledge of innovative conservation practices to maximize the benefits of their use. Guided by a strong mission statement and operating principles, the institute will serve as a lasting legacy to Charles’ leadership and vision for the advancement of our state and region.