By Cady Inabinett, News editor
A building dedication ceremony was held on May 4 for the renaming of the former University of Montevallo on Main building to Dr. Wilson Fallin Jr. Hall. The new name honors University of Montevallo alumnus and professor Dr. Wilson Fallin, Jr.
Fallin graduated with a Master of Arts degree in history from Montevallo in 1989. He is also a professor emeritus of history at the university, teaching for 28 years, and served as Montevallo’s Director of Minority Affairs from 1998-1999.
Deep ties to the civil rights movement defined Fallin’s career. Fallin was introduced to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his time as an undergraduate student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he sat in on King’s lectures at the college. In 1968, while Fallin served as pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Bessemer, he hosted King and the Poor People’s Campaign at the church.
As a scholar, much of Fallin’s work focused on the civil rights movement. He published several works focusing on the history of the Black church. Fallin also taught a course on civil rights history at Montevallo.
Fallin now serves as president of Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College.
Several university officials spoke at the event in honor of the building renaming. Including university president Dr. John Stewart, who thanked the Board of Trustees for their role in the building’s renaming—the group voted to approve the name at their Feb. 18 meeting.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Todd Strange, chairman of the group, said that he was, “Honored to have the pleasure of putting your name on this building.”
Another UM trustee, Leroy Nix, who serves as the head of the university naming working group, called the event one of the most exciting moments of his professional career.
Nix praised Fallin for the impact he had on Montevallo and its students, a sentiment shared by several other speakers including Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Ruth Truss. Truss described Fallin as a mentor to students, especially Montevallo’s male African American students.
Fallin spoke at the event as well. During his speech, he thanked his wife, Barbara Dixon Fallin— saying she aided him in many of his accomplishments, in addition to several family members and friends who were in attendance and his former students. He also described the naming as humbling, saying that he didn’t think having a building named after him would happen in his wildest dreams.
Cady Inabinett is the managing editor of content for The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies and generally just being pretentious in her free time.