Wiregrass Daily News Logo

Birmingham-Southern College is Closing its Doors

Birmingham-Southern College, a long-standing institution in Birmingham, Alabama, will shut down at the end of May after grappling with financial issues for years. The decision, confirmed by Chairman Rev. Keith Thompson, marks the end of a century-long legacy for the esteemed liberal arts school.

Originally formed in 1918 through the merger of Southern University and Birmingham College, the closure announcement was made following a meeting by the BSC Board of Trustees. Thompson expressed sorrow over the outcome and pledged to facilitate a smooth transition for students, staff, and alumni.

Financial woes, exacerbated by a $38 million debt, plagued the institution for some time. Despite efforts to secure aid from the Alabama Legislature, the school did not receive assistance. State officials, including Governor Kay Ivey’s spokeswoman Gina Maiola, emphasized the state’s stance against using public funds to rescue private colleges.

Efforts to secure financial support, including a $5 million loan approved by the Birmingham City Council, ultimately fell short. The school’s lawsuit against State Treasurer Young Boozer over a denied loan also ended unfavorably.

Despite attempts, legislative efforts to extend aid, such as Sen. Jabo Waggoner’s bill, failed to materialize, leading to the closure of Birmingham-Southern College.