What Happened to Birmingham Southern College? The Alabama School Is Closing for Good

"This is a tragic day for the College, our students, our employees, and our alumni. But it is also a terrible day for Birmingham."

Melissa Willets - Author
By

Apr. 4 2024, Published 11:01 a.m. ET

Students attending Birmingham Southern College in Alabama are saddened to learn that their school is closing permanently on May 31, 2024.

According to social media shares, they were only informed in March while on spring break.

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However, according to reports, the institution of higher learning has been headed for disaster for many years.

So, what happened to Birmingham Southern College? Here's what we know.

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What happened to Birmingham Southern College that forced the school to close its doors?

"POV: Our college is shutting down and we found out on spring break," one student who shares content on TikTok using the handle @jam_.jam__ posted.

In the comments, it was confirmed that the school ran out of funding.

Indeed, as reported by AL.com, fundraising has been challenging for as long as half a century, with scandals that including students committing arson at a church in 2006.

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A state loan appeal was made to try and salvage the school, but State Treasurer Young Boozer denied those efforts, and despite BSC suing in the hopes of getting a bailout, the school didn't succeed in securing any funding.

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Meanwhile, previous school president David Pollick added color to the situation when he said in an email to AL.com, “There was a financial crisis that was embedded in the university that preceded me and has never been brought into the light of day. I doubt it ever will. My response to it bore significant fruit, and in many ways secured BSC’s future, in spite of the financial problems that I and the Board later discovered.”

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Birmingham Southern College's endowment ran out.

With students just learning that their college is closing in less than two months, the college confirmed it had depleted its endowment in a press release announcing the news of the end of a 168-year-old liberal arts university.

Board Chair Rev. Keith D. Thompson said in the release, "This is a tragic day for the College, our students, our employees, and our alumni. But it is also a terrible day for Birmingham, for the neighborhoods who have surrounded our campus for more than 100 years, and for Alabama."

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As for students who are currently enrolled at BSC, they will have to transfer to other schools.

The class of 2024 will be the last to graduate from the formerly-esteemed college. Meanwhile, the school will be trying to help faculty and staff, almost all of whom will lose their jobs, to land new places of employment.

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As recently as April 4, the college appealed to the public for donations via Instagram.

"It’s a day to remember what BSC means to us, and to put those feelings into action to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff have the smoothest possible path to the next chapter in their lives," a caption read.

"No donation is too small, and every contribution matters," the post went on to say. "Your support through a gift to the Forward Ever Fund will help ensure that campus resources stay in place for the BSC community until their last day on the Hilltop."

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