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Birmingham-Southern College Catalog 2016-2017


At the session of the North Alabama Conference held at Tuscaloosa in November 1896,

work was begun toward establishing a college within the bounds of this conference. In

the fall of 1897, the foundation for the first building was laid in Birmingham. In April

1898, a president was elected and a faculty was chosen and organized. The Conference

then surrendered its interest in Southern University and, in September 1898, the North

Alabama Conference College (later named Birmingham College) opened its doors to


For twenty years the two colleges were maintained by the Methodists of Alabama.

Finally, on May 30, 1918, through their appointed commissioners, the two conferences

consolidated these institutions under the name of Birmingham-Southern College. With no

loss of time from the regular work at either place, the consolidation was effected, and the

new institution opened its doors in Birmingham on September 11, 1918. Since that time,

Birmingham-Southern College has grown rapidly and is now a fully accredited institution

in every way.

Birmingham-Southern College has consistently sought academic distinction. In 1937, its

standards were recognized by the nation’s leading academic honor society, Phi Beta

Kappa, which granted the College a charter to establish Beta of Alabama.

The College continues to pursue academic distinction, but not academic distinction

alone. The founders insisted that excellent scholarship prepared young people for a life of

service. Southern University’s first president, William M. Wightman, put it this way to

the second graduating class: “The great point to be considered is, not so much what you



, as much as what you


become—what you shall


to bless your

generation.” Birmingham-Southern College remains committed to that ideal.


Birmingham-Southern College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and

Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia

30033-4097; telephone number 404-679-4500) to award bachelor’s degrees.

The College is also accredited by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.

Programs of the College are accredited and/or approved by the following organizations:

Alabama State Department of Education

American Chemical Society

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

National Association of Schools of Music

The College holds membership in the following organizations:

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

American Council on Education

Annapolis Group

Association of Alabama Independent Colleges and Universities