Judson College
Judson College seal.gif
MottoLux et Veritas
Motto in English
Light and Truth
TypePrivate women's college
Religious affiliation
Baptist (Alabama Baptist Convention)
PresidentDaphne Rudicell Robinson
Location, ,
United States

32°37′50″N 87°18′57″W / 32.63063°N 87.31587°W / 32.63063; -87.31587Coordinates: 32°37′50″N 87°18′57″W / 32.63063°N 87.31587°W / 32.63063; -87.31587
CampusRural, 118 acres (48 ha)
Judson College Historic District
Jewitt at Judson College.jpg
Jewett Hall, within the Judson College Historic District
LocationRoughly bounded by East Lafayette, Curb, Mason and Washington Streets
Coordinates32°37′49″N 87°18′52″W / 32.63028°N 87.31444°W / 32.63028; -87.31444
Architectural styleColonial Revival, Classical Revival, Greek Revival
NRHP reference No.92001825[1]
Added to NRHPFebruary 3, 1993

Judson College was a private women's college in Marion, Alabama. It was founded in 1838 and suspended its academic operations on July 31, 2021.[2]


It was founded by members of Siloam Baptist Church in 1838, making it the fifth-oldest women's college in the country.[3] Judson was named after Ann Hasseltine Judson, the first female foreign missionary from the United States to Burma (now Myanmar). Businesswoman Julia Tarrant Barron and General Edwin Davis King, with the support of other members of Siloam Baptist Church, enlisted the help of Dr. Milo Parker Jewett, a recent graduate of Dartmouth College and Andover Theological Seminary. Jewett had come to Alabama with the goal of establishing a school for young women that would provide them with the same quality of education that young men received at Harvard and Yale. Jewett became the first president of Judson and later of Vassar College. Judson has been affiliated with the Alabama Baptist Convention throughout its history and received funding from the convention.[4]

The principal building of the campus is Jewett Hall, the third of this name. The first Jewett Hall, built in 1840, was a four-story Greek revival building named after Milo P. Jewett. It was destroyed by fire in 1888. The rebuilding of Jewett Hall was begun that same year. In 1947 the dome was hit by a lightning strike and fire consumed the building. Rebuilding efforts began almost immediately, and funds were raised by the sale of bricks from the rubble. A third fire occurred in the attic of this building as mattresses were lit on fire, but the fire was put out without much damage to the building.

Other notable buildings on campus include A. Howard Bean Hall, a former Carnegie library which now houses the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame as well as 2 classrooms, the Alumnae Auditorium, and the Women's Missionary Union residence hall.

The college was granted an exception to Title IX in 2015 which allows it to legally discriminate against LGBT students for religious reasons.[5][6] [7]

Enrollment at Judson in 2019 was 268 [8] and the college offered bachelor's degrees in liberal arts and pre-professional programs.

In 2020 the college experienced severe financial challenges due to declining enrollment and COVID-19. In December, the college's president issued an urgent plea for $500,000 in donations to prevent the college from closing immediately.[9] Although it had raised $1.3 million, enrollment dropped from 145 in the fall of 2020 to 80 for the fall of 2021.[10] In May of 2021, the college's board of trustees voted to close the college and begin Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The college closed its residence halls after the spring semester ended and suspended academic operations after the summer term ending July 31, 2021.[11][2][12]

In 2022 the school's archives were transferred to Samford University, a sister school, founded in Marion which relocated to Birmingham in 1887.

Student life

Judson College participated in joint social and civic events with Marion Military Institute, also located in Marion. Many of these events and traditions date as far back as the Civil War and are connected culturally to that era.[citation needed]

Judson College was ranked among the "Absolute Worst Campuses for LGBTQ Youth" in the US by Campus Pride.[5]

Notable alumnae

Namesake colleges


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Judson College board of trustees vote to close 183-year-old institution". Judson College. May 6, 2021. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  3. ^ Garrison, Greg (May 22, 2021). "'Nothing will ever be like Judson': women's college closing stuns those affected". al. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  4. ^ Judson College. "Heritage".
  5. ^ a b "Worst List: The Absolute Worst Campuses for LGBTQ Youth". Campus Pride. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  6. ^ Anderson, Nice (December 18, 2015). "Religious colleges get exemptions to anti-bias law; critics denounce 'hidden discrimination' against LGBT students". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  7. ^ "Student Handbook - Judson College" (PDF).
  8. ^ "College Navigator - Judson College".
  9. ^ Jaschik, Scott (December 18, 2020). "Judson College Will Close If It Doesn't Receive Gifts". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  10. ^ Garrisson, Greg (May 6, 2021). "Judson College, fifth-oldest women's college, closing". AL.com. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  11. ^ Lederman, Doug (August 2, 2021). "Number of colleges shrinks again, including publics and private nonprofits". www.insidehighered.com. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  12. ^ McDonald, George (July 30, 2021). "Judson College in Marion Ends Academic Programs". Alabama News. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  13. ^ Caroline C. Dormon, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 251