It is with extreme sadness that we share the news that Morris Brown College, a Historically Black College established in 1881 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is facing foreclosure, according to CBS Atlanta.
“This is heartbreaking and not only a sad day in the life of Morris Brown, but in black academia,” said former Atlanta City Councilman Derrick Boazman, a 1990 graduate of Morris Brown. “The school is needed now more than ever.”
With the exposure of extreme financial mis-management in 2002, Morris Brown lost its accreditation and federal funding and has faced a long, public battle with crippling debt. The college, which once boasted a student body of approximately 2,500 students, shriveled to a mere few dozens students at one point and now has a reported 50 students.
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In April of 2011, it was reported that a deal was reached with the U.S. Department of Education to forgive Morris Brown it’s nearly 10 million dollar debt. As previously reported by NewsOne, Cascade United Methodist Church of Atlanta also donated $22,000 to stabilize the school.
Still, it all comes down to this.
According to the [A.M.E. Church], a creditor of the historically black college, a corporation which holds $13 million in college bonds secured by its downtown Atlanta property, has called the loans and the college is unable to pay.
In a statement, Preston W. Williams II, chairman of the board of trustees of Morris Brown, said he will announce the school’s formal response on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 1 p.m. at an event on the school’s campus.
Earlier this year, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that plans to develop a Truett Cathy Legacy Project on the campus of Morris Brown had fallen through. The project would have utilized portions of the college’s campus.
Included in the prestigious Atlanta University Center along with Morris Brown College, are Spelman and Morehouse Colleges, and Clark Atlanta University.
Though Black philanthropists have donated publicly to Spelman, Morehouse and CAU, Morris Brown has not been quite as lucky. With the recent wave of conversation surrounding the continued necessity of HBCUs, the future of the great institution hangs precariously in the balance.
If you would like to donate to Morris Brown College, or find out others ways that you can make a difference, click here.