Morris Brown College’s Comeback Story: Rebuilding After Tragedy

Morris Brown College, a historically black college in Atlanta, Georgia, has experienced its share of setbacks and challenges over the years. Founded in 1881, the institution has been a beacon of educational excellence within the African American community. However, in 2002, a financial scandal led to the loss of its accreditation and subsequently triggered a series of closures and massive enrollment declines.

For many years, Morris Brown College was teetering on the brink of extinction. However, recent efforts by its leaders and supporters have signaled the beginning of an incredible comeback story that speaks to the resilience of this historic institution.

In 2019, Morris Brown College appointed Dr. Kevin E. James as the interim president of the college. Under his leadership and supported by dedicated faculty, staff, alumni, and other stakeholders, the college embarked on a journey toward reaccreditation and revitalization. Among the key initiatives put in place were financial stability practices, improved academic programs, and strategic partnerships for growth.

Morris Brown College made significant strides in addressing past debts when it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012 and emerged from bankruptcy in 2020 – an extraordinary achievement for any academic institution.

Recognizing their role as an integral part of Atlanta’s community, Morris Brown College established multiple partnerships with local organizations such as Invest Atlanta and Select Fulton. These collaborations allowed the institution to leverage funding for its growth and redevelopment plans.

In April 2021, Morris Brown College received initial approval for candidacy status from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). This crucial step marked a significant milestone for a college committed to regaining its accredited status.

Apart from rebuilding existing academic programs like hospitality management and entrepreneurship education through partnerships with international institutions like Aristotle University (Greece) & Rural Municipality Catering School (Italy), Morris Brown College is also focused on providing education that aligns with evolving industry demands. They recently partnered with The STEMulus Academy, which focuses on providing instruction for artificial intelligence, to introduce courses in data analytics and coding.

Amid its journey towards recovery, Morris Brown College has displayed a spirited commitment to the community it serves. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the college opened its doors to host vaccine drives in partnership with Walgreens and Urban League, ensuring that the Atlanta communities had access to necessary healthcare resources.

Morris Brown College’s comeback story is more than just a tale of educational rebirth; it’s a testament to the resilience, determination, and grit of an institution that refuses to let tragedy define its legacy. With steadfast leadership and unwavering support from its community, Morris Brown College stands as a symbol of inspiration for other educational institutions that are faced with adversity.