MARION, Ala. (WSFA) - One of the oldest colleges in the nation is in danger of having to close.
Judson College is the fifth-oldest women’s Baptist college in America.
Judson College President Mark Tew is asking for help to save the more than 180-year-old college.
Last week, he sent out a letter to who he referred to as friends of the college, outlining the college’s financial conditions resulting from the declining enrollment, recession in 2008 and this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.
The college needs $500,000 by the Dec. 31 to remain open and another $1 million by the end of May 2021.
Tew says the college is currently progressing to reach those goals.
“We’ve already received from our $223,861,” Tew said.
Tew says there are other gifts being processed as well.
The donations have come from supporters, former alumni and other women’s colleges.
“There’s no Bill Gates, no renowned philanthropist who has stepped up; these are efforts by dear people who love their college and what this school represent in Marion, Alabama and the Black Belt and we are just delighted to be a part of that,” Tew said.
Tew says the students and faculty are remaining optimistic in that the school will be open in 2021.
“Everybody is working very hard; they are diligent in their efforts and their jobs talented group of professionals and I am blessed to have workers around me who most importantly love this place,” Tew said.
If the school were to close, the college will work with the students to transfer to an accredited college or university.
According to the letter sent by Tew, Judson’s board of trustees is working with Fuller Higher Ed Solutions, a Christian university consulting firm, to explore potential options.