Southern Normal shutdown
Alabama State University has shutdown Brewton’s Southern Normal campus.
The move came as a shock to those serving on the Southern Normal Alumni Assoc-iation Inc. board as gates to the campus were padlocked Tuesday.
Security personnel said campus staff was notified of the decision Friday.
“(Human Resources) came down on Friday,” the guard said. “A black SUV rolled up; the head people came down, and that was it. There was no warning.”
Attempts to reach school officials, including ASU president Gwendolyn Boyd, were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Southern Normal School, a junior and senior high boarding school, was founded in 1911 by James Dooley. The school was operated under the Board of Domestic Missions of the Reformed Church in America as one of its permanent projects in 1919.
At its peak, the school enrolled nearly 350 students from across the state, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. Until 1969, it was the only school in Brewton that educated African-Americans. In 1997, it became known as the Southern Normal Academy of Alabama State University. Since then, the campus has served as a off-campus degree location where students could earn an accelerated bachelor’s of science degree in psychology and an assortment of degrees in the education field.
“I didn’t have any idea (of the closing),” said Brewton’s Margaret Gibson, alumni association financial secretary. “It’s so sad. I’m devastated to hear it.”
*Editor’s Note: This story was updated to clarifying attempts to contact ASU officials for comment.