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News from the Hilltop

June 4, 2013

United Methodists give $1 million to Birmingham-Southern at annual meeting

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, holding its annual meeting this week on the Birmingham-Southern campus, voted to give $1 million to the college in addition to its regular annual support.

Courtesy UMC North Alabama Conference
From left: Scott Selman, treasurer of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church; Haig Wright, chair of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration; Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett; BSC President Gen. Charles C. Krulak; and Brant Sanders, chair of the Conference Board of Pensions. Photo courtesy of the North Alabama Conference.

“We are so thankful to the North Alabama Conference for this extraordinary gift,” said BSC President Gen. Charles C. Krulak after the vote. “This is a remarkable recognition of the inextricable link between the church and BSC.”

The special unrestricted gift will be in addition to the annual sustaining funds the North Alabama Conference generously provides Birmingham-Southern to support scholarships and Wesley Fellowship on campus. Last year, the conference gave BSC approximately $325,000 for that purpose. On Monday, the conference voted to allocate $300,000 to fund scholarships, although the final figure may be higher depending on church receipts. That brings the total contribution from the North Alabama Conference to approximately $1.3 million.

The $1 million gift comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Boston businessman John G. Berylson also donated $1 million to Birmingham-Southern after visiting the campus. The college has already raised $15 million in pledges since August as part of a campaign for fiscal stability.

As part of that effort, many individual United Methodist churches have donated to BSC this year beyond their conference allocations. In addition, the college has numerous donors who are members of the United Methodist Church, and many support special scholarships for UMC students or for those planning to enter the ministry, among other things.

“Support for this college—and recognition that it is a special place—is both broad and deep,” Krulak said. “We’re really building momentum, and that will allow the college to grow and plan for the future.”

The annual conference of the North Alabama Conference began Sunday as the college welcomed hundreds of clergy, lay leaders, church administrators, and other guests for their annual worship and business session. Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, a BSC trustee, presides over the three-day gathering.

Click here for information on a second large gift to the college.

About Birmingham-Southern College:

Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,200 students from more than 30 states and 16 foreign countries. Learn more online at www.bsc.edu.