Historically Black Morris Brown College in Atlanta was founded in 1881 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 2002, the college lost its accreditation due to an unstable financial position. The college filed for and later re-emerged from bankruptcy. Enrollments slowed to a trickle. The campus fell into disrepair. (See JBHE post.)
But 2021 will be a year to remember in the college’s history. Last month the college announced a $30 million investment from CGI Merchant Group, a minority-owned global investment management firm. The funds will be used to convert existing facilities into a 150-key upscale hotel and hospitality management training complex.
Now there is more good news to report. The college announced that it has received accreditation candidacy by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, a Virginia-based accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. As a candidate for accreditation, students at Morris Brown will now once again be eligible for federal financial aid programs including Pell grants.
“We are elated about accreditation candidacy and making history,” said Kevin James, president of Morris Brown College. “I want to thank all the faculty and staff for their hard work. We intend on making history as the first HBCU to regain its status after a 20-year hiatus and the first HBCU to have a flagged hotel on its campus for a hospitality education program. These achievements have sparked other closed HBCU’s to try again. Without the resilience, support, and prayers from the board of trustees, African Methodist Episcopal church, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community, we would not be here. We have so many amazing projects coming up in the pipeline that will prepare our students for academic success and jobs. It is a new day for Morris Brown College!”