Morris Brown College seeks donations for accreditation bid

Morris Brown College supporters are continuing a fundraising drive that is part of the ongoing effort to regain accreditation.

The historically Black college, located near downtown Atlanta, raised $462,882 during its homecoming celebration last weekend, but is asking donors to help the school reach its $500,000 goal. The money is being put in the college’s bank account, said the college’s president, Kevin James.

“We need those dollars to show financial stability,” James, who arrived on campus last year, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

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The Decatur-based Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked Morris Brown’s accreditation in 2002 after ballooning debt and an embezzlement scandal. Without accreditation, students cannot receive federal student loans.

Morris Brown was founded in 1881 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At its peak, the college had more than 2,700 students. Its enrollment dropped to about two dozen students last year, but has doubled to 53 this semester, James said. The college is holding online-only classes this semester because of the coronavirus pandemic. The liberal arts school recently started an esports program.

Morris Brown has ramped up its effort to regain accreditation in recent years. It is working with the Virginia-based Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools to regain its accreditation.