Bishop State Community College

Founded in 1927, Bishop State Community College was originally the Mobile Branch of Alabama State College (University) in Montgomery. It was established as an arm of Alabama State College that offered extension courses to African-American elementary and secondary teachers in Mobile.

In 1936, O. H. Johnson was appointed as dean. The first full-time faculty consisted of seven persons, which included such Mobile pioneers in education as Dr. Benjamin F. Baker, Mary Wilbur Weeks Burroughs and C.F. Powell.

Dr. Sanford. D. Bishop, Sr. joined the teaching staff of "The Branch" in 1938 as an instructor of English and music. In 1941, he was named dean.

In 1942, property was acquired on Broad Street where the present Main Campus is located. The campus consisted of a two-story framed building, which prior to the purchase of the property, was used by the Voluntary Fire Fighters Society #11. It was purchased with a loan that was later repaid by students through fund-raisings. In 1963, the name "Mobile Branch of Alabama State College" was changed to Alabama State College – Mobile Center.

In 1965, the Alabama State Legislature ratified the Alabama State Board of Education's action establishing the Alabama State College – Mobile Center as Mobile State Junior College and severed its relationship with Alabama State College in Montgomery. Dr. Bishop was appointed president of the new independent junior college.

In 1971, the Alabama State Legislature renamed the college to S. D. Bishop State Junior College.

Upon the death of Dr. Bishop on June 21, 1981, Dr. Joseph Mitchell was selected to serve as interim president. In 1981, Dr. Yvonne Kennedy was appointed as the second president.

In 1989, the Alabama State Board of Education re-named the college to Bishop State Community College to reflect its growth in vocational/career offerings, transfer offerings and community service activities.

In 1991, the Alabama State Board of Education consolidated two technical colleges in Mobile – Southwest State Technical College and Carver State Technical College – with Bishop State Community College.

In 1995, the college added a fourth campus with the opening of its Baker-Gaines Central Campus. This site was formerly the historic Central High School. The facility houses the Division of Health Related Professions.

See Bishop State Controversy (2007)

In 2007, Bishop State was scrutinized by the state's two-year college system, state auditors, the U.S. Department of Education, the FBI and the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office, which charged 27 people with stealing more than $200,000 most of it financial aid. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accrediting organization subsequently placed Bishop State on probation and the U.S. Department of Education put it on “heightened cash monitoring” and demanded the return of $150,000 in federal aid. As a result of the scandal Yvonne Kennedy retired as President in 2007.

Dr. James Lowe, Jr. became president in 2008.

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