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Dr. Lloyd C. Elam

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Information about Dr. Lloyd C. Elam

Profile image of Dr. Lloyd C. Elam

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
College President
Psychiatrist
Psychiatry Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Peas (Black-Eyed)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/27/1928
Birth Location:
Little Rock, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
College President
Psychiatrist
Psychiatry Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Peas (Black-Eyed)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
10/27/1928
Birth Location:
Little Rock
See how Dr. Lloyd C. Elam is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Founder of Meharry Medical College’s Psychiatry Department and retired college president Dr. Lloyd C. Elam was born on October 27, 1928 in Little Rock, Arkansas. His parents, Ruth Davis Elam and Harry Penoy Elam met in church in Little Rock. Elam attended Stephens School and graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in 1944 at age fifteen. He went to junior college in Little Rock before moving to Harvey, Illinois. There, Elam worked for the Maremont Automobile Plant and commuted to Chicago to attend classes at Roosevelt University where he graduated with his B.S. degree in zoology in 1950. After a stint in the United States Army, Elam earned his M.D. degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1957. From 1957 to 1958, Elam completed an internship at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, and from 1958 to 1961, he served as a resident in psychiatry at the University of Chicago Hospital.

Elam joined Chicago’s Billings Hospital as staff psychiatrist and instructor of psychiatry in 1961. From 1961 to 1963, he served as assistant professor and chairman of the Psychiatry Department of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Becoming a full professor in 1963, Elam was appointed interim dean of the college in 1966. In 1968, he was selected president of Meharry Medical College and supervised the school’s growth in that capacity until 1981. From 1981 to 1982, Elam was college chancellor. He served as Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry from 1982 to 1995 when he retired to serve as a volunteer faculty member. Elam served as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, California in 1982. He was made Professor Emeritus of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 1996 and Chairman Emeritus in 1997. Elam is a member of the Tennessee Psychiatric Association, Tennessee Medical Association, American Medical Association, National Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American College of Psychiatrists, Black Psychiatrists of America, R.F. Boyd Medical Society and the American College of Forensic Examiners.

In 1973, Elam was presented an honorary Doctor of Laws from Harvard University. His other awards include honorary degrees from Meharry Medical College and St. Lawrence University; the 1988 National Board of Medical Examiners Distinguished Service Award; induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society; the 1972 Nashville Club Man of the Year Award; the 1976 Human Relations Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the 1988 Eleanor Roosevelt Key, Roosevelt University’s highest alumni award. Meharry Medical College established the Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center in his honor and that building now bares his name.

Elam and his wife, Clara Elam, R.N., have two daughters: Dr. Gloria Elam-Norris of Chicago and Dr. Laurie Elam-Evans of Atlanta. Elam passed away on October 4, 2008.

Elam was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 14, 2007.

See how Dr. Lloyd C. Elam is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Lloyd C. Elam's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his mother's community in Arkadelphia, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his father's education and occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his father's lumber business
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam talks about race relations in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his paternal grandfather's career as a stagecoach racer
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls his refusal to eat meat
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his childhood diet
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls his transportation to school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam remembers his family's road trips to Arkadelphia, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls his experiences as a migrant farmworker
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls attending Stephens Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his family's daily prayers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls selling newspapers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam remembers his teacher, Leroy Christopher
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam remembers an influential teacher
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls his community's emphasis on education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls his early interest in medicine and psychology
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam remembers his early understanding of mental health
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls the popular ideas about mental illness during his youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls the beliefs about mental illness in rural Arkansas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls his decision to attend Roosevelt College in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam remembers his high school graduation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his experiences at Roosevelt College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam remembers serving in the U.S. Army's Medical Service Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls race relations at the University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes the findings of his medical study of stress
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls the psychiatry program at the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls his influential professors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam talks about the treatments for mental illness
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes the perceptions of psychiatry in the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls founding the Department of Psychiatry at Meharry Medical College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes the changes in the cost of psychiatric care
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls establishing a day hospital in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam recalls his presidency of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his challenges as the president of Meharry Medical College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes Meharry Medical College's contributions to Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam talks about his community health concerns
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes the increase in African Americans seeking psychiatric care
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam talks about his retirement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam talks about the underrepresentation of African Americans in the medical field
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam reflects upon the psychological effects of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam talks about his involvement at the First Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenneesee
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes his civic activities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Lloyd C. Elam narrates his photographs