Judson College Launches $5 Million Fundraising Campaign to Keep Doors Open


Alabama News Network has been following the efforts to save Judson College in Marion. The Christian college was founded in 1838 and is the fifth-oldest women’s college in the country. It’s also home to the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame.

The Board of Trustees is now launching a campaign to raise $5 million by April 2.

“The board was unanimous in seeking to identify donors to support the college in the coming academic year,” Judson College President W. Mark Tew said. “While this is a monumental challenge, I would like to remind all of you that we serve a great God. Prudent financial responsibility dictates that we have firm commitments from our donors before we can proceed into the next academic year,” he said.

The trustees plan to meet April 2 to see how much money has been raised and to make a decision about Judson’s future. For now, a review of the school’s 2021-2022 budget is on hold. The fiscal year ends May 31.

In December, Judson said it needed to raise $1.5 million in order to re-open after Christmas break. That goal was met. However, a consultant says $40 million is needed over the next several years to truly turn around Judson’s finances.

Enrollment is currently 145 students, down from 253 in 2019 and 161 last year. A statement from Judson says the decline was expected due to the pandemic and questions about its future.

The college is supported by the Alabama Baptist Convention. It has a board-operated endowment of $9.8 million as well as more than $6 million in endowment funds through the Baptist Foundation of Alabama. The school says almost all of that money is donor-restricted for scholarships.

The school says in an effort to save money, it has ended its associate in nursing program, cut jobs and delayed repairs and upgrades to campus.

But the aggressive fundraising campaign is still needed to ensure the future of the college.

Joan Newman, chair of the trustees and Class of ‘73 alumna, said, “Today the Board demonstrated their commitment to sustaining a future for Judson. The financial goal is lofty, but the future of Judson College is worthy.”

— Information from Judson College


Categories: News, West Alabama