Historic to Greensboro is the site of the former Southern University. In 1855, the Alabama Methodist Conference voted to establish a college in Greensboro. By the fall of 1859, a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture was completed and classes opened. The faculty was exemplary, and the course of study rigorous. Classes offered were Ancient Languages, Moral Philosophy, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biblical Literature, Philosophy and Law.
Southern remained open throughout The American Civil War, although enrollment fell. Following Reconstruction, the college entered the 1880s with its highest enrollment and progressed successfully into the 20th century. While the student body was overwhelmingly male, there was a co-ed presence by 1897. In 1917, the Alabama Methodist Conference decided to merge it with Birmingham College to form Birmingham-Southern College, and an era in Greensboro history ended.
Southern Military Academy began in September 1919, but by the 1940s the building was unused and deteriorating. In 1965, Southern Academy was organized and located in the building while a restoration program was underway, until May 1973 when a tornado irreparably destroyed the building.
Laying of the Cornerstone
June 11, 1857
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