Founded in 1881, Morris Brown has been a pillar amongst HBCUs. However recent history has not been kind to the Wolverines. Back in 2002, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools stripped Morris Brown of its accreditation after a former president and financial aid director were found to have misappropriated Department of Education funds.
Bereft of accreditation, MBC lost access to federal funds, which included student loans and Pell Grants. Most of the 2,000 students enrolled at the time, left to seek other institutions. Millions of dollars in debt, the school was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sold a majority of its campus to the city of Atlanta.
Over the past twenty years Morris Brown never closed, enrolling a few dozen students and relying on alumni volunteers to staff offices and keep its remaining grounds.
Two years ago, Bishop Reginald Jackson, chairman of Morris Brown’s Board of Trustees gave the board this ultimatum- if the school was not on the path to accreditation by year’s end, he would recommend to the Atlanta North Georgia Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the college’s church sponsor, to close Morris Brown.
After limping along for two decades Morris Brown regained its accreditation in 2022, saving the school from an impending closure; this also means the College once again has access to federal funds.
Morris Brown recently announced the college has received a grant of 2.9 million dollars, its largest such grant in twenty years.
The Atlanta Voice reports the package was secured by United States Senator Jon Ossoff will “help equip the HBCU with the resources needed to support its growing student body.”
Morris Brown president Kevin James said the funds, “ will be used to expand the college’s educational curriculum, refurbish buildings on campus and invest in the “pipeline” that transitions graduates into the workforce.”
The school’s current enrollment is over 270 students and President James said he expects that number to surpass 400 for the upcoming fall semester.