Discover the 5 Oldest School in Alabama
Getting a quality education can help lead you to being the best version of yourself and making as much money as you want. Alabama is no different. One of the oldest states in the union, Alabama was founded in 1809. The school system in Alabama has changed in more ways than we could imagine since the state first was established. Even so, some schools have seen it all and are still standing today. It’s important to know the history of schools and what events have taken place in them. Here’s the oldest private university, public university, public elementary school, public high school, and private high school in Alabama.
Athens State University (1822)
The oldest surviving school in Alabama overall is Athens State University. This university first opened its doors in Athens, Alabama back in 1822. Athens is in northern Alabama and is roughly the halfway point between Nashville and Birmingham. Athens State is known for being a university that focuses on education, business, and arts and sciences. As of today, there are around 3,500 students who attend. Some of the former students who have attended classes here include author Chris Guillebeau and Major League Baseball player Gary Redus.
Spring Hill College (1830)
If you’re looking for a private college in Alabama, look no further than Spring Hill College. This private university was founded in 1830 in Mobile, Alabama, making it the oldest in the state. This college was founded by Michael Portier, the first bishop of the city of Mobile. As a result, the college has many different majors and options for graduating. There’s also an international center in Bologna, Italy, for those who are looking to perhaps travel and study abroad. Only 1,400 students attend, so you won’t feel like just another number. Former students who have attended college here include Paul Morphy, who is thought of as the first chess prodigy in history, and John Schuessler, the former CEO of Wendy’s.
Barton Academy (1836)
Barton Academy was the first public school to open in Alabama. This now infamous school started offering classes in 1836 in Mobile. During the Civil War, the school was shut down, but reopened in 1865. It’s so influential it’s even been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The school building itself is three stories tall and has a dome on the top of it, like the U.S. Capital Building. The exterior of the building is a beautiful white with baby blue tint. The school became the main office of the Mobile County Public School System in the 1960s. Finally, back in 2009, the building was restored to standard and was officially reopened as a school in the fall of 2021.
Auburn High School (1837)
Auburn High School first enrolled students shortly after Barton Academy was opened. Additionally, this school is located in Auburn, Alabama, and is known as one of the best public high schools in the United States. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the school offered classes for those who were looking to get their associates degree. Like Barton Academy, the school was shut down during the Civil War, as many of the students and teachers were officers in some capacity. As of today, the school is home to more than 2,000 students. Some prior students who attended Auburn High School classes include football player Marcus Washington and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Saint Mary’s Catholic School (1867)
The oldest private elementary and middle school in Alabama is Saint Mary’s Catholic School. Like many others on this list, this school is located in Mobile, Alabama, and first started teaching students in 1867. The school offers an average class size of 22 students, which is the perfect ratio of not too many, but not too few. Attached to the campus is a beautiful church building that offers mass.
You can even start bringing your child to attend classes and daycare as young as six weeks old. Having the stability of one place for your child for their first 14 years of life can only bring good things.
Alabama has some of the oldest schools in the southern part of the United States. These schools have seen tons and would tell amazing history if their walls could talk.
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