Morehouse receives $4 million for new building, academic programs

Both Google and real estate giant Prologis have given gifts to the college this month
A detail of a student’s backpack is shown during the Eddie Gaffney lecture series about mental health at Dansby Hall on the Morehouse College campus, Tuesday, October 17, 2023, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

A detail of a student’s backpack is shown during the Eddie Gaffney lecture series about mental health at Dansby Hall on the Morehouse College campus, Tuesday, October 17, 2023, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

As Morehouse College welcomes alumni, celebrities and community members to celebrate Homecoming this week, the school also has four million more reasons to celebrate.

This month, the all-male HBCU has received $4 million from two major companies for a yet-to-be-built campus center and the new Morehouse Real Estate Institute. Last week, Google donated a $1 million gift with no restrictions to the college, while real estate firm Prologis this month donated $3 million towards the real estate program.

Morehouse President David Thomas serves on the Google HBCU Presidents’ Council, and the gift stemmed from that relationship, according to Melonie Parker, chief diversity officer at the tech giant.

Morehouse will dedicate the Google gift toward the new campus center, which is part of a larger project the college is working on to essentially create a new quad.

“We’re literally transforming what’s called the main campus,” Thomas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We don’t have today a space that really pulls our community together, a kind of crossroad.”

To remedy that, he said the school will turn two parking lots into greenspace flanked by the campus center and two new dorms, marking the first time new student housing has been built at Morehouse since 2003.

The whole project is slated to be completed by September 2026 and will cost approximately $150 million to build, Thomas said. Around $60 million of that will be for the campus center, which will have dining facilities, student advising services, study spaces and places students can hold small seminars.

Parker said it was important to the tech giant to give Thomas the choice in how to use the money because he knows the school’s needs best.

“It’s also a way to reward and recognize the leadership of the universities,” Parker said about giving unrestricted gifts.

In addition to the $1 million gift, Google will build a technology hub on campus that it calls a Google Annex. The space will be designed completely by Google, including all the furnishings, and it will have $100,000 worth of technology. The tech giant will pilot these hubs at five HBCUs, including Morehouse.

Logistics real estate giant Prologis’ $3 million donation will be used to create an endowed fund to support the new Morehouse Real Estate Institute, which is launching next semester.

“We see this as critical because real estate is the largest single asset class in our economy,” Thomas said.

The institute aims to diversify management with the real estate industry. It will offer four classes initially — real estate finance, risk management and insurance, real estate fundamentals and appraisals. The classes will be open to all the students at the Atlanta University Center, not just Morehouse.

Prologis’ funding will also help the college hire more faculty to teach and oversee new extracurricular activities. The money will also be used for stipends for students who want to spend part of their summer working in a real estate firm. Some Morehouse alumni have already volunteered to serve as faculty, mentors or provide internships, Thomas said.

He is also hoping to use Prologis’ gift as anchor funding to increase the institute’s endowment to $20 million and has started fundraising.

The campus center and the real estate institute are two projects that are coming out of Morehouse’s ambitious $500 million capital campaign the college launched last year. Thomas said the college is nearly halfway to its fundraising goal, with about $240 million raised.


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