Judson College (Alabama)

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Not to be confused with Judson University.

This article is about the college in Alabama. For the university in Elgin, Illinois, see Judson University.

Judson College
Judson College seal.gif
Established 1838 (1838)
Type Private
Affiliation Alabama Baptist Convention
President David E. Potts
Students 322[1]
Location Marion, Alabama, 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
Campus Rural, 118 acres (48 ha)

Judson College

Judson College Historic District
Jewitt at Judson College.jpg
Jewett Hall, within the Judson College Historic District
Location Roughly bounded by East Lafayette, Bibb, and DeKalb streets
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Classical Revival, Greek Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 92001825[2]
Added to NRHP February 3, 1993

Judson College was founded by members of Siloam Baptist Church in 1838 in Marion, Alabama. Three individuals were most instrumental in the founding of Judson College: Julia Tarrant Barron, General Edwin D. King, and Milo P. Jewett.[3][4] It is the fifth oldest women's college in the United States. It was named after Ann Hasseltine Judson, the first female foreign missionary from the United States to Burma (now Myanmar). It has been affiliated with the Alabama Baptist Convention throughout its history and is currently still heavily funded by the convention.[5]


Enrollment at Judson in 2011 was 322.[1] The college offers bachelor's degrees in both liberal arts and pre-professional programs.

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 Dr. Milo P. Jewett, first president of the college. 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, as 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.

Judson College participates 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.

Judson College students participate in big sister/little sister activities. In the spring semester of their first year, freshman students will receive a big sister from the sophomore class. Throughout the second year, students will go through several secret tradition ceremonies. The big sister leads the little sister through these ceremonies and provides for them the materials and things they need to pass on the traditions to later classes.

Every April, Judson hold its J-Day. J-Day is like a homecoming event, and alumnae come from all over the country to celebrate and hold reunions. J-Day replaced the older tradition of May Day, which involved a May Pole. J-Day has a court similar to many homecoming celebrations, but one can liken the Pageant or Hockey Day as much closer to homecoming. J-day is usually within a week of Marion Military Institute's Alumni Day and is much closer in content to that event.

Notable alumnae[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Best Colleges: Judson College". U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  3. ^ Harris, W. Stuart (1991). Heritage of Perry County. Marion, Alabama: Perry County Historical and Preservation Society. pp. 70–92. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Mabel Ponder (1973). Some Early Alabama Churches. Marion, Alabama: Alabama Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. pp. 134–144. ISBN 978-0-88428-029-3. 
  5. ^ Judson College. "Heritage".  http://www.judson.edu/about-judson/heritage/
  6. ^ Caroline C. Dormon, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 251
  7. ^ Charles Champlin, art editor, "A Stamp of Approval for a Friend", Los Angeles Times, July 9, 1987
  • Frances Dew Hamilton and Elizabeth Crabtree Wells. Daughters of the Dream.
  • Emmie Frances Polhill Wolfer. Emmie Frances, Judson College, and Her "Wolfer Girls".
  • Judson College Alumnae Association, The Story of Judson College in Needlepoint.
  • Nancy Anderson, editor. They Call Me Kay: A Courtship in Letters.