Atlanta’s Morris Brown College needs prayer and it needs relief from debt, leaders of the historically black institution say.
Saturday, they’ll gather at 1 p.m. at the 131-year-old school to pray and also announce plans to help avoid foreclosure.
“Morris Brown can survive,” says Benjamin Harrison, spokesman for the college’s Board of Trustees. “There have been mistakes in years past that have contributed to the current situation. Our chairman Bishop. Preston Williams is a transformative leader who is inspired in his work,” Harrison told BlackAmericaweb.com.
The task at hand right now for Morris Brown and its supporters may be the biggest one it has faced in the 10 years it has struggled since losing accreditation.
The college has fallen behind on a payment of bond debt and investors called $13 million worth of bonds tied to college property.
On Tuesday, Sept. 4, several historic buildings on the campus and the administration building are set to be auctioned.
In 2002, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools stripped Morris Brown of its accreditation, and that meant that students who attend could not receive federally-funded financial aid. A majority of students who attend historically black colleges and universities rely on financial aid to help with costs, according to the United Negro College Fund.
In spite of efforts to attract non-traditional students with online learning programs and degrees tailored for specific under represented concentrations, enrollment has now dipped to 50 students, college officials said.
In the 1960s and 1970s, enrollment at Morris Brown would sometimes hit as high as 3,000, students.
But in recent years, the college founded by blacks for the education of blacks, has often been on the brink. So far, a lifeline has come each time.
When the college in 2008 got behind on its water bill and service was cut off, the community, alumni and the AME Church rallied to raise more money.
Just last year, when Morris Brown had an opportunity to pay part of its debt to the U.S. Department of Education and have more than $9 million forgiven, alumni, churches and the communities rallied again, raising more than $500,000.
George Hopkins, president of the Morris Brown National Alumni Association, said he believes those who love his alma mater will rally again.
“When I look out at the response to the news on Facebook, I still see folks writing, ‘Morris Brown till the day I die,” Hopkins told BlackAmericaweb.com.
The alumni association has not developed a plan to assist in meeting the challenge being made public his week, but Hopkins said the college needs more than support from the alumni, churches and the local community.
Hopkins is a member of the Morris Brown class of 1971 and has fond memories of his college years.
“There needs to be a national campaign,” Hopkins said. “The alumni and the former Bishop for this area are what really kept the college going.” He is looking to the newly elected bishop for the 6th AME District to also show leadership.
In a letter to alumni and stakeholders last week signed by President Stanley Pritchett and Hopkins, the two pledge their support to college and the new leader of the board.
“We have made progress in our quest to qualify for accreditation of Morris Brown over the past two years; however, it is the question of financial stability that remains our challenge,” the letter states. “With Bishop Williams' focus on fiscal strength and accountability, we look forward to meeting this challenge head-on during the coming year.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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