Charles Cahn Baum and Family Atrium

BaumTroy University’s Rosa Parks Museum honors a family with roots in Montgomery by naming its atrium in memory of Charles Cahn Baum and in honor of his family.

Reared in Montgomery in a prominent Jewish family, Charles Baum graduated from Princeton, Harvard Business School and the University of Maryland Law School. A resident of Baltimore, Md. for most of his life, he had a passion for civic and philanthropic causes, always maintaining his devotion to Alabama. He died in 2015.

Patti Baum made a gift to the museum in her late husband’s memory in order to help fund new educational programs, such as the museum’s summer camp, and continue the mission of uplifting Mrs. Parks’ legacy.

SculptureThe choice of the museum to help continue her late husband’s legacy came as a result of his email response to a friend. The friend had seen the movie “Selma” and, knowing that Charles had grown up in Montgomery during the Civil Rights Movement, inquired as to what his life was like during those times. In that email response, Charles lamented about his family not being “brave nor courageous, nor willing to risk our own comfort for a greater cause.”

“I want his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know what his life was like growing up in Alabama during a period of great unrest,” Baum said. “I want them to know why he encouraged all of us relentlessly to speak out and stand up for what is right. I wanted to do something that Charles might have done had he not run out of time and I certainly wanted to honor his Alabama roots. Charles and Rosa Parks shared some things in common. They both had profound humility, a strong sense of decency, a truly good soul, a determination to fight for their beliefs, valued education, southern grace, open minds. Neither carried any hate in their hearts. They were authentic, gentle and kind and fiercely loyal to their friends. They both deeply loved family. It is a tribute to them both – Mrs. Parks and Charles – that you are all here today.”

Dedication Speeches

Dr. Felicia Bell

Good afternoon. Thank you all for joining us this evening. It's so good to see the Baum family! Patti was so kind to invite my staff and I to dinner last night with her family. I don't think…

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Patti Baum

What a day we all have had. The quote that keeps going through my head is one by George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. It makes me wish…

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John Baum

I was only 5 years old when Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat on the bus. I have no real recollection of that event or the boycott which followed. I do recall, however, as a young…

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Sylvia Horowitz

With all due respect to one of the South’s most acclaimed writers, Thomas Wolfe, I think this weekend attests to the fact that you can go home again. Charles, John and I – and many of…

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David Shapiro

Thank you. I feel incredibly fortunate to be introduced by a classmate of 12 years, a friend for decades, and someone I’ve known as family for most of my life- a person whose understated…

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