BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A last-minute reprieve for Birmingham-Southern College.
BSC President Daniel Coleman informed students and faculty Thursday the school will remain open, avoiding financial collapse.
In a press release, the Reverend Keith Thompson, school board chair, said the board made the informed and thoughtful decision to keep BSC open, going further to reveal the board has “been working closely with our allies in state and local government to secure bridge funding.”
The news was a welcome relief to BSC students like Jeremy Joseph from Birmingham, whose future has been up in the air for months.
”This is the best-case scenario, and I couldn’t be more happy that it turned out the way that it did,” Joseph said.
Killian Kahaffey is a BSC student from Mobile, and he said he’s glad the roller coaster of emotions is over.
“We’ve been hearing rumors that nobody knew what was going on, Kahaffey said. “One day it was good, one day it was bad, so getting that confirmation that it was going to be in, everybody was just freaking out.”
Zionne McCrear makes the commute from Gardendale to attend classes at BSC and is elated by the news.
“So, I am super excited,” McCrear said. “I’m so happy we were able to stay open. It’s a long time coming, but I’m very, very excited.”
The exact details of the financing were not made public and are still being worked out.
Thompson announced that Coleman would be tasked with raising funds to restore the school’s endowment.
That move and pivoting from a bailout to a bridge loan appears to have been a difference maker according to the Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter.
“I think going from just asking for the money to having collateral and doing a loan helped,” Ledbetter said. “Maybe looking at some of the budgeting helped, so I think that was probably a positive for them.”
In the coming days and weeks final details will be ironed out, and there remains work to be done in Montgomery. But for faculty members like Sara Robicheaux, the dean of business programs at BSC, there’s hope on the hilltop of brighter days ahead.
“Yes, I think there is certainly a bright future,” Robicheaux said. “I believe Daniel Coleman as president has a great plan, which will come out in the next few weeks and will provide a long-term solution to some issues we’ve had for the last decade or so and will ensure the college is sustained for the next hundred years.”