MARION, Ala. (WIAT) — Judson College, a private Baptist women’s college that has stood in Marion for 183 years, is shutting its doors for good, the school announced Thursday.
In a statement post to the college’s website, officials announced that the Judson College Board of Trustees had voted to close college by July 31 with residence halls closing at the end of May. The news comes as the fundraising efforts the last couple of years failed to produce enough money to support the school. Enrollment had also significantly dwindled over the years, going from 145 last year to 80 this year.
Addressing the board, Tew said that “We know this was the right decision, but there is not a person here whose heart isn’t broken over this,” Judson President W. Mark Tew reportedly said at the meeting. “I share the heartbreak of this decision that is felt by generations of Judson students, faculty, and friends.”
The Board will now move through orderly closing through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, creating a five-member committee to work with administration and bankruptcy counsel as it moves through its transition to closure.
“No decision by this Board is ever taken lightly,” said Joan Newman ‘73, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Today’s vote is the outcome of months of research, fundraising, and yes, prayer. Acknowledging the incredible legacy of Judson, acknowledging the thousands of lives that were changed through a Judson experience and grateful for my own personal journey at Judson, it is with broken hearts that the Board votes to suspend instruction.”
Judson College will assist students in preparing transfer plans. Plans are in the works to pay tribute to the school in the coming days.