Birmingham-Southern College celebrates century in the community


Throughout 2018, Birmingham-Southern College will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of its existence in Birmingham, offering special events for current students, alumni, and the broader community.
In 1918, Southern University, which was founded in Greensboro, Alabama, in 1856, and Birmingham College, which began life as North Alabama Conference College in 1898, merged at BSC’s current location.

The year-long “100 Years on the Hilltop” will commemorate that merger and celebrate contributions the college and its alumni have made to the city, the state, and the world.
“This year, we’ll look back at our history from the turn of the last century through transformative moments—through two world wars, astounding physical growth, racial integration and shifting attitudes toward women, and our move from a regional institution to a nationally-ranked school,” said BSC President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith. “We’ll also look forward to what we want BSC to be in the next 100 years.”
Although BSC traces its history back more than 160 years, the college’s character was forged in the decades that followed the merger, in which the school’s leadership built the college physically, assembled a faculty that earned Birmingham-Southern a reputation for outstanding teaching and scholarship, and made it a critical institution in Birmingham. By the 1930s, BSC had landed Alabama’s second Phi Beta Kappa chapter, added schools in theology, medicine, law, and the liberal arts, and begun its path toward becoming one of the South’s best colleges. It is now the only nationally-ranked liberal arts college in Alabama and the only Alabama school to be included among the 40 Colleges that Change Lives.
The year will include special events for BSC students and graduates, including a spring alumni weekend featuring the Distinguished Alumni Awards, a Reunion Picnic, an auction of student artwork at the President’s Home, and a community-wide service project. The anniversary includes the 50th year of the January Exploration Term program and the 70th year of Birmingham-Southern Theatre. BSC will also welcome a range of speakers, including Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson East (February), Grammy-winning record executive Amir Windom (February), Southern Light founder Andy Newton ’94 (March), and Christian author and activist Shane Claiborne (May). For full details, visit

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