Birmingham-南部 College traces its roots back to 1856, the year the 阿拉巴马州bama Legislature chartered 南部 University as a Methodist institution; the following year, the school’s cornerstone was laid in Greensboro, 阿拉巴马州.
In 1859, 南部 University opened with 52 students—many of whom left two years later to fight in the Civil War, which left the institution depleted. A decade after its founding, only 28 students remained. 但, under a renewed commitment by Methodist leadership, 南部 University rose again, building to 238 students in 1889 和 graduating its first woman in 1897.
A year later 和 about 100 miles away, the North 阿拉巴马州bama Conference College opened on a hilltop west of the young city of Birmingham; in 1906, the school changed its name to Birmingham College. The school began to flourish—the first of six 澳门新葡京官网 Rhodes Scholars was named in 1910—but, in an echo of 南部 University, the United States’ entry into World War I depleted the student body.
5月30日, 1918, 南部 University merged with Birmingham College on that hilltop location—the same referred to in the college’s alma mater:
Proudly st和s our alma mater
1921年，美国.S. President Warren Harding inaugurated Guy Snavely as the newest president of Birmingham-南部 College. Snavely set about—和 succeeded—building the finest undergraduate institution in the state. In 1931, for the college’s 75th anniversary celebrations, Stockham Hall was built; 1935, the undefeated 澳门新葡京官网 football team won the Dixie Conference; in 1927, the college received the state’s second Phi Beta Kappa chapter, 它现在仍然有效.
但 once again, war changed the face of the college. By the end of 1941, the campus had lost most of its male students 和 faculty. In future years, 澳门新葡京官网 would not be sheltered from conflict, both local 和 national. In 1965, the college enrolled its first black students; some 澳门新葡京官网 students had previously joined their African-American peers from other institutions to fight for civil rights. College leaders contemplated moving the college out of Birmingham in the 1970s, but 然后-Pres. Dr. Neal Berte held fast to the vision of the college on the city’s western border—和 helped build the institution to a nationally-ranked liberal arts college with an innovative curriculum 和 a commitment to student success.
More than a catchphrase, “向前,!” is drawn from the third 和 fourth verses of the college’s alma mater, which are:
每年春天, 在上课的最后一天, seniors climb the stairs to the roof of the Berte Humanities Building to ring the college bell to celebrate the completion of their undergraduate academic career. The rooftop--otherwise inaccessible to students--also offers them a bird's-eye view of the academic quad where they've spent their previous years. 曾经的低调, the bell ringing has become a celebratory moment, with cake 和 other congratulations for the seniors before they begin their preparation for Commencement.
这是他们在澳门新葡京官网的第一天, new students begin their journey by entering Battle Coliseum for Convocation, walking through the faculty--their future professors. 在毕业典礼上, 它们完成了一个圆, exiting through a line of professors who have in that time come to know them well, 和 who applaud them 和 offer hugs 和 high fives.
Walk north on the winding path from Stockham to Munger Memorial Hall any sunny afternoon in fall 和 you will find a scene that lives in the memory of thous和s of Birmingham-南部 graduates—our two golden ginkgoes shimmering against a bold blue sky. The ginkgo tree holds a spot of special honor on the Birmingham-南部 campus, 和 not for its simple beauty alone.
Darwin called the ginkgo "a living fossil." 银杏叶, the graceful ornamental we know, is the only remaining species of a venerable genus that flourished with the dinosaurs. The ginkgo is said to be the oldest living seed-bearing plant, 和, 像这样, it has become a symbol of longevity 和 of hope.
在southern, our own beloved pair of ginkgoes have been part of the l和scape for decades, 结出了果实, 提供阴凉, brightening the skyline with fall 和 spring color, 和 passing into local legend. Members of the ’南部 community like to reminisce about the late Dr. 约翰Strohl, a chemistry professor who started dozens of seedlings from our trees 和 passed them along, becoming our own academic "Johnny Appleseed."
Rooted deep near Munger Hall, these ginkgoes are part of our past 和 of our future. 看起来很合适, 然后, that the ginkgo—our ginkgoes—should be a symbol of appreciation for that dedication. They grace the Hilltop 和 represent enduring qualities of generations of Birmingham-南部 alumni—the loyalty 和 generosity that nurture the continuing mission of our college 和 assure its success in an uncertain future.