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Athens State University

Coordinates: 34°48′20″N 86°58′0″W / 34.80556°N 86.96667°W / 34.80556; -86.96667
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Athens State University
Former name
Athens Female Academy (1822–1842)
Athens Female Institute (1842–1889)
Athens Female College (1889–1931)
Athens College (1931–1998)
TypePublic upper-division university
EstablishedDecember 9, 1822; 201 years ago (1822-12-09)[1]
PresidentCatherine Wehlburg (interim)
Location, ,
United States

34°48′20″N 86°58′0″W / 34.80556°N 86.96667°W / 34.80556; -86.96667
MascotHebrew the Bear
WebsiteOfficial website

Athens State University is a public upper-division university in Athens, Alabama. Its academics are housed in three colleges: Education, Arts and Sciences, and Business.


Athens State University is Alabama's oldest educational institution of higher learning. It began as the Athens Female Academy in 1822.[1] The Methodist Church began oversight of the institution in 1842, changing the name to Athens Female Institute. It became Athens Female College in 1889.[2]

In 1931 the name was shortened to Athens College when it became coeducational.

On May 10, 1974, the board of trustees requested from the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church that the college seek affiliation with the State of Alabama. At its annual meeting in June 1974, the conference gave the board this permission and authorized the transfer of the college to the State of Alabama.

In June 1975, the college was accepted by the Alabama State Board of Education subject to the appropriation of operating funds by the Alabama legislature. Later that year, the legislature appropriated funds for the operation of the college to serve the graduates of state junior, community, and technical colleges/institutions.

Later, in 1998, the college became Athens State University.[3]

On May 11, 2012, a bill was passed by the Alabama legislature allowing the creation of an autonomous board of trustees for the university. This board took office in October 2012. Athens State University remains the only upper-division university in the State of Alabama.

Athens State College Historic District[edit]

Athens State College Historic District
Founders Hall is a contributing property to the historic district
Athens State University is located in Alabama
Athens State University
Athens State University is located in the United States
Athens State University
Location202--212 and 311 N. Beaty St., central campus area roughly bounded by Beaty, Pryor and Hobbs Sts., Athens, Alabama
Area8.6 acres (3.5 ha)
ArchitectHiram Higgins
Architectural styleLate 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Greek Revival, Queen Anne
NRHP reference No.85000254[4]
Added to NRHPFebruary 14, 1985

The Athens State College Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places on February 14, 1985. It includes Founders Hall, which was built in 1842–44. Founders Hall is individually listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Act 98. To incorporate the trustees of Athens female academy, in Limestone county. Acts Passed at the Fourth Annual Session of the General Assembly of the State of Alabama. Published January 1823. Act approved December 9, 1822. Pages 122-123. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  2. ^ Athens State College Catalog. Athens State College. 1993.
  3. ^ Poovey, Bill (May 9, 1998). "Governor gives legislators 'pork' money at last minute". The Montgomery Advertiser. Montgomery, Alabama. p. 9.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  5. ^ Carroll, Andrew. "Will Redus carry on state tradition?", The Tuscaloosa News, January 29, 1984, page 4B.

External links[edit]