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Margaret M. Porter

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2014.


Margaret Marks Porter was born in Birmingham in 1950. She attended Brooke Hill School in Birmingham before graduating from Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia.

As an active member of the Mountain Brook Parks and Recreation Board, Porter oversaw the development of the Crestline Tot Lot, as well as the creation of several other community play parks. She served as Vice-Chairman of the Steering Committee that developed the Mountain Brook Athletic Park at the High School. Porter served on the Mountain Brook City Council for twelve years. During her tenure on the City Council she served the city as President and President Pro Tem of the City Council, Mayor, and Council Liaison to the Mountain Brook Board of Education.

As a founding member of Birmingham’s McWane Science Center, she headed up the creation campaign that raised $43 million dollars to pay for the infrastructure of the center. She served as Chairman of the Board for five years and at various and extended times as President and Chief Executive Officer. She continues to serve on the Endowment Board.

Porter is also active with the University of Alabama Birmingham, and co-chaired the1999-2003 fundraising campaign that raise $389 million dollars UAB. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Children’s of Alabama. Porter chaired the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Health System of Alabama from 2002-2004, and she continues to sit on its Executive Committee. For six years, she served as a trustee of the National Association for Children’s Hospitals and related institutions in Washington, D.C. where she advocated for children’s health funding at the national level. Porter also served on the Board of Directors of Russell Corporation for nine years and chaired its Corporate Responsibility Committee.

Porter is the recipient of numerous honors including: the Dorothy M. Schwartz Community Impact Award presented by the Junior League of Birmingham, the Woman of Distinction Award by the Girl Scouts, Top Ten Birmingham Women presented in 1994 by the Birmingham Business Journal, the Junior League Sustainer of the Year Award, 1996 Mountain Brook Citizen of the Year presented by the Mountain Brook Exchange Club, the Vocational Service Award presented by the Shades Valley Rotary, Operation New Birmingham Achievement Award for 1996, Paul Harris Fellow presented by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, the David J. Vann Citizenship Award for 1997, the 1998 Children’s Advocate Award presented by Childcare Resources, Inc., the 1999 NCCJ Brotherhood and Sisterhood Award, the National Society of Fundraising Executives Alabama’s Chapter’s Civic Leader Award for 1999, the 2001 National Alumni Society of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Honorary Life Membership Award and the UAB’s President’s Medal.

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