Birmingham University School

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Birmingham University School
Birmingham University School crest.png

Active 19221975
School type private
District N/A
Grades 6-12
Mascot Knights
Location 3609 Montclair Road, (map)

Birmingham University School ("BUS") was a private college preparatory school which operated in Birmingham from 1922 to 1975.

The school was founded by Basil Parks and originally shared space with the Margaret Allen School at 2144 Highland Avenue. By 1926 it had moved to its own building at 1211 28th Street South.

The program featured a wide array of academic associations such as a Latin club, drama club, as well as a debate team. BUS' athletic program included football, basketball, baseball, soccer, as well as track & field teams. The school mascot was the Knights and its yearbook was called the Equestria. Its motto was pro virili parte ("to the best of one's ability"). The school's philosophy was related thus in the 1962 yearbook:

"The School is definitely a college preparatory school for boys. It is dedicated to excellence in education. In order to attain high goals of educational proficiency, student applicants are carefully screened to determine capability and aptitudes as prerequisites for admission.

An enriched curriculum provides unusual challenges for intelligent reasoning and accelerated learning in the areas of English, modern languages, mathematics, science, history and civics.

Small classes taught by thoroughly qualified men teachers insure ideal results.

Incentives, skillful guidance and encouragement are tremendous factors in the development of skills and character traits that lead to success in this school and in the field of higher education." (p. 7)

Parks returned to active service in the U.S. Army in 1940 and Robert L. Johnson took over as director. When he died in 1945 Parks reorganized the institution as a non-profit organization.

In 1954 the school moved into a new campus at 3609 Montclair Road, along the Mountain Brook / Birmingham city limits. Daniel Construction completed a second two-story building in 1956 to a design by architect Charles McCauley.

A gymnasium was completed in 1959, along with new library and laboratory equipment and the purchase of an adjoining parcel. The school used the adjoining five-acre Erskine Ramsay Park for its athletic fields.

BUS initially offered courses for elementary, middle, and high school grades, but by the school's final year of operation in 1975, the school only offered grades 6 through 12. Although the school was founded as an all-male institution, by the 1973-1974 academic year, the school employed female faculty and admitted female students.

Birmingham University School merged with the Brooke Hill School for Girls in 1975 and moved to Brooke Hill's campus on Altamont Road, forming the new Altamont School.




  • Beiman, Irving (May 16, 1956) "Building boom in state shows no slow downs." The Birmingham News, p. 6
  • Equestria, vv. 1960, 1962, 1974, and 1975; archived on the Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections at [1].

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