Al Baumeister had a distinguished career at The University of Alabama and later at Vanderbilt University. He came to UA in 1965 as part of the pioneering doctoral program in what was at that time call Mental Retardation (now called Intellectual Disabilities). Dr. Baumeister co-directed the first program dedicated to training clinical psychologists to work in the field of Intellectual Disabilities. He held numerous training and research grants from NIMH and other agencies and foundations. He was involved in numerous class action suits aimed at improving services for the developmentally disabled and helped found the first group home for individuals with intellectual disabilities in Tuscaloosa for former residents of Partlow State School.
Remembered for his mentoring, he directed some 17 dissertations at UA and served on 30 other doctoral committees. His own publication record includes over 200 articles, chapters, and books. He left UA in 1973 to become the director of the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.
Upon retirement from Vanderbilt in 2000, Al moved back to Tuscaloosa. He died just weeks before the infamous tornadoes of April 27, 2011 hit the Tuscaloosa area, destroying many neighborhoods including Forest Lake and the house where he lived. Al’s family and many of his former UA students established a memorial fund drive to recognize his legacy.