A Brief History of Judson College

The Judson Female Institute was established in 1838 by members of Siloam Baptist Church, and opened January 7, 1839. It was named after Ann Hasseltine Judson, America's first female foreign missionary. By 1840 a grand, four story building, had been erected. The building would bear the name Jewett Hall in honor of the first president of Judson Female Institute, Dr. Milo P. Jewett.

The College was spared during the Civil War and continued classes. In 1888 Jewett Hall was destroyed by the flames of a slow burning chimney fire.  Three months after the fire, bricks and mortar began to shape the new building that would become the second Jewett Hall.

With the growth and expansion of buildings, and to accord her standings among other colleges, the name was changed in 1903 from the Judson Female Institute to Judson College.

On December 8, 1941, from a radio platform in the chapel, Judson students heard President Franklin D. Roosevelt announce that war had been forced on America by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Many Judson students volunteered serving as WACS, WAVES, nurses, and Red Cross workers.

In 1947, lightning struck the dome atop Jewett Hall. Despite enormous efforts, the building was totally destroyed. Alumnae immediately began assisting with the reconstruction of Jewett by pledging $100,000 toward building costs. A sale of bricks from the ruins was opened by Governor James E. Folsom "Big Jim" paying $25 for the first brick.


Today Judson is at the forefront of educating young women

Acquisition of important technology and the renovation and restoration of many of her historic buildings are essential to academic vitality.

 Marian Acree Tucker Hall has been constructed as part of a fine arts center that houses the music and art departments. The Charlotte G Lowder science building opened in 2001 and is home to some of the finest undergraduate lab facilities in the southeast.  The crown jewel of Judson, Jewett Hall, underwent a multi-million dollar renovation  and re-opened with state-of-the-art computer and classroom facilities in 2003.  In 2006,  Judson proudly opened Dunkin Athletic Park, which features a new softball field, a soccer field, a track and a new covered horse arena.  In mid 2009, Blount Student Union Center underwent extensive renovations, complete with new ground floor furnishings. In the near future, Judson has plans for tremendous improvements to Bowling Library and the equestrian facilities.  

These improvements will strengthen Judson's ability to provide quality education while continuing to serve as a cultural and mission center for western Alabama..

For over 171 years Judson College has steadfastly prevailed. Judson College remains church related, embracing Christian principles and values as an appropriate foundation for all her students. Christ centered and student centered, Judson continues to fulfill her mission of helping young women develop their God-given abilities and talents, equipping them to make intelligent choices, and reflecting the teachings of Christ in every facet of life.

More information about Judson and the women who believe in her:


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