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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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