Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Selma's Concordia College Closes

On April 28 Selma's Concordia College held its final graduation in the school's gymnasium. About 150 students received degrees in the 92nd graduation ceremony. Concordia had 445 students registered in the fall 2017 semester.

School funding had been in crisis for some years, and enrollment was falling. In February 2018 the decision to close was announced. The Selma campus was the only historically-black one in the Concordia University System of ten schools operated around the U.S. by the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

The school opened in 1922 as both a high school and college to train church workers. The college closed during the Depression. Eventually the college reopened, and the institution became known as the Alabama Lutheran College and Academy. The name was changed in 1981. In 1997 two 1928 buildings, Bakke Hall and the Dormitory, were listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. In 2010 the campus had expanded from 22 to 57 acres. 

The school competed in several men's and women's sports, and fielded a football team from 2005 until 2015 when costs became prohibitive.

Alabama has 14 other historically-black universities, four-year colleges and community colleges currently operating. Daniel Payne College, opened in Birmingham in 1880, previously closed in 1977. 

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