Lawson State Community College
Lawson State Community College is a public two-year college located at 3060 Wilson Road Southwest in Southwest Birmingham. It also operates a second campus, the former Bessemer State Technical College, at 1100 9th Avenue Southwest in Bessemer.
Lawson State Community College has a current enrollment of 3,028. In 2013 Lawson State was ranked as the #5 community college in the nation by Washington Monthly. It was also recognized as a "Champion of Change" in 2011 by the Obama administration.
The college, originally open only to African Americans, was founded as the Wenonah Vocational and Trade School on August 24, 1949, under the authority of the Wallace-Patterson Trade School Act of 1947. Seventy-five students enrolled in the first year, taught by eleven instructors led by president Theodore Lawson.
An academic program, called Wenonah State Junior College, was founded in 1965 under the auspices of legislation passed in 1963. It graduated its first class of 33 in 1967 and was fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1968. In 1969 the academic program was renamed Lawson State Junior College in Lawson's honor. It merged with the technical school on October 1, 1973 to form the present institution. The school's technology center was supported in part by a $1 million donation from the Scrushy Family Foundation.
- Wallace Anger, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
- Kevin Arrington, director of Boutwell Auditorium
- Tyrone Belcher, postal supervisor, army sergeant and member of the Birmingham Board of Education
- Patricia Bozeman-Henderson, case manager for Birmingham Municipal Court and president of the Five Points West neighborhood
- Earl Cochran, Sr, Bessemer City Council member
- Johnny High, professional basketball player
- Lamar Johnson, Major League Baseball player
- Gary Lavender, police officer
- Bert Miller, Birmingham City Council member
The Lawson State Cougars compete in baseball, men's and women's basketball, and women's volleyball as members of the Alabama Community College Conference in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
- Jones, Pam (January 7, 2005) "Lawson State, Bessemer Tech colleges merge; Six-figure savings are anticipated." Birmingham Business Journal
- Bryant, Joseph D. (March 26, 2015) "Obama visit brings noteworthy alumni back to Lawson State." The Birmingham News
- Lawson State Community College website