Clayton State University President Thomas "Tim" Hynes shows some items put in a time capsule left on the campus in 1994. The time capsule was opened on Sept. 19, 2019 as part of the college's 25th anniversary. 

AJC On Campus: Colleges & their pasts; Carter at Emory; battle over HBCU funding

Many Atlanta area colleges and leaders were focused on the past this week. 

At Clayton State University it was a look at what was left behind by former students and others. Georgia Tech’s new president grappled with questions about his wife’s business dealings at his prior employer. Morris Brown College got a gift to help restore a historic structure on its campus.

Here’s a look at these and other issues in this week’s AJC On Campus.

Morris Brown College gets major grant

Fountain Hall on the Morris Brown campus. 
Photo: Bita Honarvar,

Morris Brown College announced this week it received a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service for its effort to restore Fountain Hall. The hall was built in 1882 and was once the office of an Atlanta University professor named W.E.B. DuBois. DuBois is now known as one of the important civil rights leaders in American history. The college received a grant several months ago from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the restoration effort, which was awarded to several organizations nationwide to restore historic places that uncover stories of African Americans.

Clayton State’s time capsule revealed

Clayton State University's Dean of Libraries Sonya Gaither shows an item put in a time capsule left in 1994. The time capsule was opened on Sept. 19, 2019 as part of the school's 50th anniversary celebration. 

A 25-year long mystery was released Thursday at Clayton State University. What was in the silver time capsule left there by students and others in 1994? University leaders opened the capsule as part of the celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary. Some items included a cassette recording of a Spivey Hall performance, yearbooks from 1973 and 1974, computer mother boards, information about what was then the new HOPE Scholarship and photos. The college is considering burying a new time capsule this school year.

Georgia Tech’s president defends wife’s consulting work

Georgia Tech’s new president, Ángel Cabrera, walked around campus, including this stop at the Ramblin’ Wreck with his wife, Dr. Beth Fraser Cabrera, after he gave his first address since arriving on campus Sept. 1.

Ángel Cabrera, the new president of Georgia Tech, said there was nothing improper about his wife’s work at George Mason University during his time as president of that school. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported this week that Beth Cabrera, a motivational speaker, was paid $122,000 during his six-plus year tenure for contract work she did there. Some of the work there, the Chronicle reported, was awarded on a no-bid contract. Cabrera told us he was not involved in helping his wife get the contracts and that no university policies were violated in the process. “I’m very proud of the work she’s done,” Cabrera said. Cabrera said his wife will not do such work at Georgia Tech, but she may work at other schools in Georgia.

Budget rises for Georgia State convocation center

Georgia’s Board of Regents last week voted to increase the construction budget for Georgia State University’s convocation center from $79.2 million to $85.2 million. The bids for the project were higher than anticipated, officials said. Georgia State officials said $5.5 million of the additional costs will come from university funds and $500,000 from the athletic association. 

HBCU funding bill fight in Congress

A bill to renew about $255 million for the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions encountered a road block late Thursday when U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who chairs the education committee, blocked the legislation, known as the FUTURE Act. Alexander, instead, proposed an extension of current legislation for the schools, along with approving other legislation, according to news accounts. There are nine accredited HBCUs in Georgia, who are likely paying close attention to what transpires with this.  

Emory investigates more instances of faculty using racial epithet

Emory University is investigating two additional cases of adjunct law school professors it says used a racial epithet considered offensive by many African Americans during a class. The university said adjunct professors must now receive training concerning its campus speech guidelines. Last year, another law school professor was prohibited from teaching his class after using the epithet twice on campus. Read more here about the issue and how this has been an issue on other college campuses.

Georgia Gwinnett College in a city near you?

GGC President Jann L. Joseph (third from right) hosted a breakfast for Gwinnett County mayors on Sept.17, 2019, to discuss connections between the college and the communities it serves. 

Georgia Gwinnett College’s new president, Jann Joseph, opened her office on Tuesday to the mayors and council members from seven cities in the county. Two of the mayors, Peachtree Corners’ Mike Mason and Snellville’s Barbara Bender, asked Joseph to consider setting up classes in their cities. Joseph said she’d look into the idea. 

Jimmy Carter speaks at Emory

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, University Distinguished Professor at Emory, hosted his 38th Carter Town Hall meeting for Emory University first-year students at the Woodruff P.E. Center September 18, Wednesday September 18, 2019.
Photo: Tyson Horne/

Emory University’s most famous faculty member, former President Jimmy Carter, visited the campus Wednesday for his annual lecture there. Here’s our report on his remarks.

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