A Lifetime of Giving Continues
Evelyn and Harold Martin Estate Supports Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
|Evelyn and Harold Martin|
During their long and full life together, which spanned 64 years of marriage, the late Evelyn M. Martin and the late Dr. Harold C. Martin positively influenced numerous lives through their service and benevolence. And now funds from the Martins’ estate have made possible the establishment of an endowment that will perpetuate the couple’s legacy of support for UAB. This endowment will ensure that the tradition of excellence in research will continue to thrive in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Gifts from their estate will also support the Department of Surgery and the Department of Internal Medicine.
Longtime supporters of UAB, the Martins gave funds in 1996 to establish the Evelyn M. and Harold C. Martin Endowed Support Fund in the UAB Department of Biology, which continues to provide valuable support for the growth and development of the programs and activities of the department. In 1998, Dr. and Mrs. Martin gave a generous gift to support surgical oncology research at UAB, having been personally touched by the quality medical care Dr. Martin received at UAB as a patient of Marshall M. Urist, M.D., who successfully removed a melanoma from Dr. Martin’s arm. Dr. Martin highly regarded Dr. Urist’s expertise and commitment as a physician of the highest quality and also that of Charles A. “Scotty” McCallum Jr., D.M.D., M.D., with whom he was a close friend.
Dr. Martin was also a dear friend of Coach Gene Bartow and a dedicated fan of UAB Athletics. Residents of Vestavia Hills, Dr. and Mrs. Martin were active in their community and gave of their time and talents to serve in a variety of volunteer capacities in local and state arenas.
A minister in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Martin acted as both state official and active Methodist minister from 1960 until his retirement. During his long career in the ministry, Dr. Martin served as senior pastor of Methodist churches throughout the state. He later served the United Methodist Church as district superintendent on two occasions and as executive director of Superannuate Homes for Methodist Ministers, where he oversaw pensions and retirement homes and led in building homes for the aged.
Dr. Martin served the state of Alabama on the Board of Education from 1963 to 1987, including 15 years of service as the board’s vice chair and presiding officer, and he also earlier served on the Birmingham Board of Education. Through his leadership and tireless efforts on the state board, Dr. Martin contributed to the successful implementation of numerous programs that have been invaluable to the education of Alabama’s children. During his time on the state board, Alabama began the first widespread system of student testing and increased standards for teachers, and Alabama’s public schools began offering kindergarten programs.
His accomplishments and contributions to education in Alabama earned Dr. Martin two honorary doctoral degrees and membership in the Alabama Educational Leadership Hall of Fame; his other recognitions include the naming of a building in his honor at Jefferson State Community College and the naming of the boardroom at the Alabama Board of Education. Also, the Shelton State Community College campus in Tuscaloosa is named the Evelyn M. and Harold C. Martin Campus.
Dr. and Mrs. Martin were especially proud of their nephews and nieces and were delighted when their great-niece, Heidi R. Umphrey, M.D., graduated from UAB with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology, later earned her medical degree from the School of Medicine, and subsequently embarked on a successful career as a physician. Umphrey is currently an assistant professor in the UAB Department of Radiology.
“Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Harold were devoted to each other, to our family, to the Methodist church, and to the education of Alabama’s children,” Umphrey says. “It is wonderful to know that their support will advance the mission of UAB, an institution that was dear to their hearts.”
Dr. Martin passed away in 2004 at the age of 87 and was followed in death by Mrs. Martin five years later. Through their generosity and support of numerous worthwhile efforts including multiple health and educational initiatives at UAB, as well as through support of the United Methodist Church, they have left a legacy of benevolence for their nieces and nephews and all those who follow them.
“The legacy left by Dr. and Mrs. Martin and their family will have a lasting impact on the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the UAB School of Dentistry, and UAB research,” says Huw F. Thomas, Ph.D., dean of the School of Dentistry. “The research conducted here is second to none. This gift will help us fulfill our mission of providing the state, nation, and world with quality oral health care.”
Maintaining the Momentum / Winter 2011