Birmingham-Southern College Board of Trustees votes to remain open

Birmingham-Southern College Campus. Photos by Jacob Blankenship via Bham Now
(Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

After months of deliberation and support from alumni, students and faculty, Birmingham-Southern College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday evening to keep the College open. Keep reading for all the details.

Birmingham-Southern College to remain open

Birmingham-Southern College Campus. Photos by Jacob Blankenship via Bham Now
(Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

At 11AM this morning, the Board of Trustees invited Birmingham-Southern College students, faculty and staff for a special announcement regarding the future of the College.

“The Board of Trustees has made the informed and thoughtful decision to keep Birmingham-Southern open. We have been working closely with our allies in state and local government to secure bridge funding. Thanks to their leadership, the Board felt comfortable with moving forward, and has charged President Daniel Coleman with preparing for a public fundraising campaign to restore the College’s endowment.”

Rev. Keith D. Thompson ‘83, chair of the Board

According to President Coleman, much work lies ahead for the College.

““We are already reaching out to our prospective students and will be hiring faculty and staff to ensure that we are delivering the full BSC experience this fall. We will also be gearing up for the public phase of the endowment campaign, which will ensure our long-term financial resilience.” 

Daniel Coleman, President, Birmingham-Southern College
Birmingham-Southern College Campus. Photos by Jacob Blankenship via Bham Now
(Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Although questions still remain regarding the College’s finances, Rev. Thomson says the Board will not be able to give definitive answers until the Alabama legislative session concludes.

“President Coleman and so many others have been working tirelessly to secure the resources needed to take BSC forward. We are especially grateful to the elected officials who have championed this cause because of its impact on Birmingham and Alabama. And we are also deeply grateful for the outpouring of support from our alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, the business community, and friends who have written, called, emailed, and met with elected officials to help make the case for public support. That has sent a powerful signal about what BSC means to Alabama. We will continue to work with legislators through the end of the legislative session to ensure all are aware of the significant direct economic impact BSC provides each and every year, as well as the immense contributions made by our alumni to the civic, business, and political leadership of our state.”

Rev. Keith D. Thompson ‘83, chair of the Board

What’s next for Birmingham Southern College?

Birmingham-Southern College Campus. Photos by Jacob Blankenship via Bham Now
(Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

The decision comes as the College has experienced a six-year high in applications and has worked to address Alabama’s workforce shortage through the addition of undergraduate and master’s programs in data science. BSC is Alabama’s only nationally ranked liberal arts college and has an annual direct economic impact of $97.2 million on the state, according to an independent study by Dr. Keivan Duravi released in February 2023. 

“Miracles abound this Easter season! I am so thankful that our lawmakers in Montgomery are seeing what I see—a critical anchor institution of long-standing that continues to be hugely beneficial to the state and local municipalities. I am committed to supporting Birmingham Southern however I can and I will continue to advocate among my city council colleagues.”

Carol Clarke, Birmingham City Councilor, District 8

BSC has secured nearly $46 million in pledges from private donors toward a goal of $200 million in endowment and has sought bridge funding from public sources to allow time to finish that campaign. A $200 million endowment will support 20 percent of BSC’s annual operating budget, providing the stability needed for the long term.  

“I want to commend Birmingham Southern College’s leadership for their tireless efforts to remain open. This is particularly important for the students and staff that make up the BSC community. It is also good news for the surrounding residents who view Birmingham Southern College as their neighbor. As President Coleman and leadership continue taking the next steps for a financial recovery, I urge everyone to learn more about the impact and importance of this institution in our city.”

Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin

Forward, Ever!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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