Judson College community weathers financial crisis together

Judson College, a private school and the state’s only women’s college, is located in Marion, Alabama in Perry County. (Judson College)

MARION, Ala. – After a successful fundraising effort by alumnae and other supporters, Judson College will begin on-campus spring classes Jan. 20, 2021, for the second half of its 182nd academic session.

After the College’s December 15th announcement that, in order to open in January, Judson would need $500,000 in unrestricted cash donations and $1 million in unrestricted commitments of gifts between Jan. 1 and May 31, 2021, the Judson community, alumnae, and friends mobilized quickly to secure the needed funds.

Current Judson students took to social media to share why Judson is important to them. Many alumnae and friends spent the last two weeks of 2020 donating their time, talents, resources, and influence–from baking fundraisers to online sales groups and from social media posts and phone calls to online 24/7 prayer rooms–spreading the word to their own communities about Judson’s importance in their lives and their desire to see Judson’s opportunities remain available for other young women.

Since the College’s founding in 1838, together the Judson community has steadily persevered through a host of outside circumstances that have threatened Judson’s existence: wars, economic depressions and recessions, attempts to relocate or consolidate with other institutions, natural disasters, fires, and global health crises. Each time, the devotion of the Judson community–not just to the campus, but to the College’s mission of Christian higher education for women–helped Judson overcome these obstacles.

Sophomore Hollie Fondren of Moundville, Alabama echoed this idea in a student-created video: “Judson is an important place because we try to give back. We try to help each other. We don’t give up. We always find a way.”

It was this community that worked together to raise the funds needed for Judson to remain open in 2021.

Because of the efforts and generosity of this community, just 13 days after the announcement and 5 days before the Dec. 31 deadline, the Judson community had secured the $500,000 in cash donations and was halfway to the commitment goal of an additional $1 million.

Judson President W. Mark Tew said, “It is an extraordinary dedicated group who love Judson, who had a great experience here from the alumnae perspective and others who understand what we’re offering in Christian higher education for young women. It was not surprising, but nonetheless very exciting, when we began reaching those goals.”

The Judson College Board of Trustees convened Dec. 31, 2020 and approved moving forward with the spring 2021 semester.

To date, alumnae and friends of Judson have donated, or committed to give before May 31, more than $1,462,868.

College leaders are planning for a Fall 2021 semester, and trustees will continue to evaluate the College’s financial position in the coming months. Judson will host its on-campus Spring Preview Day for prospective students and families on Feb. 18. For more information, visit www.judson.edu/preview-days/.

Judson College is a private undergraduate institution committed to excellence in the arts, sciences, and professional studies. The college offers a residential undergraduate education for women and selected online undergraduate programs for men and women in over 20 areas of study. Affiliated with the Alabama Baptist Convention, the Judson campus community encourages each student to find ways that knowledge and faith in God can work together to guide her in a life of purpose. Founded in 1838, Judson College is located in Marion, Alabama. For more information about Judson College, visit www.judson.edu.