Birmingham–Southern College

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Birmingham–Southern College
BSC seal.svg
MottoPro Christo et Republica (Latin)
PresidentDaniel B. Coleman
Location, ,
United States
Campus192 acres (0.78 km2)
ColorsBlack and Gold
AffiliationsSAA (NCAA Division III)
BSC logo.png

Birmingham–Southern College (BSC) is a private liberal arts college in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. Founded in 1856, the college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). More than 1300 students from 33 states and 16 foreign countries attend the college.[1] Birmingham–Southern has a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, and 96% of full-time faculty hold a doctorate or the highest degree in their field.[2]


Ginkgo Tree by Munger Hall

Birmingham–Southern College is the result of a merger of Southern University, founded in Greensboro, Alabama, in 1856, with Birmingham College, opened in 1898 in Birmingham, Alabama. These two institutions were consolidated on May 30, 1918, under the name of Birmingham–Southern College. Phi Beta Kappa recognized Birmingham–Southern in 1937, establishing the Alabama Beta chapter. Only ten percent of the nation's institutions of higher education shelter Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and Birmingham–Southern College is one of only three sheltering institutions in the state of Alabama.

On March 21, 2011, General Charles Krulak was named the 13th president of Birmingham–Southern College. Krulak officially retired on June 1, 2015 and was succeeded by Dr. Edward F. Leonard, III, the 14th president of the College.[3]

A delegation from BNU-HKBU United International College was invited by the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), a consortium of 16 liberal arts colleges in the US, to explore collaborative ties. UIC visited three of the ACS member institutions between 17 and 25 April. The delegates discussed exchange opportunities and collaborative projects with Birmingham–Southern College.[4]


According to such diverse and national measures as Colleges That Change Lives and the Princeton Review's Best 377 Colleges, Birmingham–Southern is one of America's best liberal arts colleges. As determined by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation, four of Alabama's “Best Professors” in recent years teach at BSC, with Prof. Laura Stultz being named Professor of the Year for 2013.[5][6]

Courses of Study[edit]

The college currently offers five bachelor's degrees in more than 50 programs of study, as well as interdisciplinary and individualized majors and dual degree programs.


The campus is situated on 192 wooded acres three miles west of downtown Birmingham. The college has 45 academic, residential, administrative, and athletics buildings/facilities. Some highlights:

Elton B. Stephens Science Center: Housing the natural sciences, the 100,000-square-foot, $24.1 million Stephens Science Center.[7]

Stephens Science Center

Norton Campus Center: The hub of campus, the Norton Campus Center houses the bookstore, cafeteria, post office, and student lounge areas as well as offices for student development, residence life, and counseling and health services.

Munger Memorial Hall: The architectural centerpiece of campus, Munger Hall, built in the 1920s, houses administrative offices and a 900-seat auditorium.

Berte Humanities Center: Named in honor of former BSC President Neal Berte, the Humanities Center opened in 2004 and houses the foreign languages lab, the academic resource center (ARC), and classrooms designed for BSC's small student-to-faculty ratio.

College Theatre: With a split-revolve-lift stage, the main theatre can host a variety of set designs.

Lakeview Residence Halls: The first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) residence halls in Alabama, Lakeview North and South opened in 2010 and offer suite-style living for upperclass students.[8]

Lakeview Dorm South

Hilltop Village Apartments: Recently renovated, the Hilltop Village apartment complex contains sixteen buildings that house approximately 350 students.

Urban Environmental Park: The Urban Environmental Park features a 1.5 acre lake, walking paths, and Wi-Fi internet.

N.E Miles Library: The N.E. Miles Library includes a collection of 257,000 volumes, 57,000 government documents, and more than 20,000 recordings, compact discs, and DVDs. More than 135 online databases provide access to the full text of over 40,000 periodicals and numerous e-books. The library also features an auditorium, study areas, conference rooms, and an electronic classroom.[9]

Striplin Fitness and Recreation Center: The main facility for campus recreation, Striplin features two basketball courts, an indoor jogging track, racquetball courts, a golf simulator, an indoor swimming pool, and strength training and cardiovascular workout rooms.

Student life[edit]

Interest groups[edit]

Norton Campus Center

A sampling of the more than 80 student interest groups on campus:

  • Allies
  • Art Students League
  • Black Student Union
  • BSC Debate Society
  • BSC Bass Fishing Team
  • BSC Pantherettes Dance Team
  • BSC Ultimate Frisbee
  • Coalition for Human Dignity
  • College Democrats
  • College Republicans
  • Cross Cultural Committee
  • Film Club
  • Honor Council
  • Multi-Cultural Awareness Organization
  • Reformed University Fellowship (R.U.F.)
  • Student Government Association
  • Quest II: The Student Programming Board (Plans and programs all major on/off - campus entertainment including concerts, talent show, and more)
  • Soccer club
  • Wesley Fellowship[10]

Greek life[edit]

Urban Environmental Park

Fraternities and sororities organize campus social events and service projects.




Bill Battle Coliseum, the home court of Birmingham-Southern men and women's basketball teams.

Birmingham–Southern athletic teams are known as the Panthers. Birmingham–Southern is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes at the Division III level in the Southern Athletic Association. the college was originally a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and enjoyed a successful run in NAIA prior to joining the NCAA. After three years as a Division I member, the college moved to Division III in 2006.[11] Panther Stadium, home to the college's football program, hosted its first home football game on November 8, 2008. The stadium features an athletic building that includes a press box, coaches' offices, meeting rooms, athletic training room, officials' dressing room, and locker rooms for football, lacrosse, track and field, and cross country. The college currently fields 22 sports, nine men's and nine women's, including:[12]

Notable alumni[edit]

College presidents[edit]

Edwards Bell Tower and the academic quad


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Retrieved November 25, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Council for Advancement and Support of Education. "Winners by Institution — Birmingham-Southern College". Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  7. ^ Birmingham-Southern College. "The Elton B. Stephens Science Center". Archived from the original on 2014-01-30. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  8. ^ Birmingham-Southern College. "Birmingham-Southern's new residence halls are first on a college campus in Alabama to achieve LEED certification". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  9. ^ Birmingham-Southern College. "About the BSC Library". Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  10. ^ Birmingham-Southern College. "Student Organizations List". Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  11. ^ "Birmingham-Southern to D-III: Why? A Q&A". May 26, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  12. ^ Birmingham-Southern College. "BSC Basics". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  13. ^ Married With Children star reminisces about her childhood in Winter Park from The Watermark, 10 April 2013
  14. ^ "Richmond C. Beatty". Guggenheim Foundation. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  15. ^ "Injuries Sustained In Accident Fatal To Dr. Branscomb. Widely Known Methodist Leader Dies In Jasper Hospital. Held Pastorate In Anniston. Was President of Alabama Anti-Saloon League". The Anniston Star. October 30, 1930. Retrieved December 23, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Joseph H. Parks and Oliver C. Weaver, Birmingham-Southern College, 1856-1956. Nashville, TN: Parthenon Press, 1957.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°30′54″N 86°51′11″W / 33.515°N 86.853°W / 33.515; -86.853