How did such a historical college get into this type of mess. After being millions of dollars in debt they reached a settlement and not on a way to recovery.
The United States Department of Education (DOE) has received a bank transfer from Morris Brown College in the amount of $500,000, according to the terms of a settlement agreement between Morris Brown and the DOE, to resolve the $9,944,000 debt owed by Morris Brown to the Department of Education.
“This is certainly a major achievement for us – the most significant milestone reached by the college – since we started this recovery process with an aggressive turn-around plan in 2010. Our objective is to restore the legacy of Morris Brown College and to move the college into the 21st Century with a global approach to educational programs,” said Dr. Stanley Pritchett, President of Morris Brown. “This is a day of thanksgiving to the thousands of alumni and friends of the college including many faith-based organizations who reached deep into their pockets for the benefit of this institution and the young people who want to attend Morris Brown,” Pritchett added.
The settlement agreement called for Morris Brown College to submit payment of $500,000 to the DOE within ninety days from the date that the Department of Justice (DOJ) gave its approval. The 90-day clock started on May 26th. Morris Brown had until August 24, 2011 to pay the settlement.
An aggressive turn-around plan was launched through a “Special Committee,” under the leadership of Trustee William “Sonny” Walker, of the Morris Brown College Board of Trustees. A Fundraising Committee, an outgrowth of the Special Committee, was headed by Trustee Robert Barnett and Trustee Victoria Jenkins, who worked untiringly to create strategic alliances and raise the necessary funds.
Jerry Howard, a 1970 graduate of Morris Brown now living in Texas, made a donation of $50,000 to the college during the observance of Morris Brown’s 130th Founders Day. This gift was the catalyst that seemed to galvanize alumni and friends – the result of which has been an out-pouring on financial support from other segments of the Atlanta community. The Steve Harvey Show devoted a morning drive-time segment to make an appeal for Morris Brown.
“Support coming from many faith-based organizations and denominations has been the backbone of our fundraising efforts and we owe so many people – too many to enumerate – our gratitude,” says Trustee Jenkins and Barnett.
Morris Brown College has applied for accreditation from Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) — a national accrediting agency certified by the Department of Education (DOE) that focuses on colleges that have Christian principles in its mission.
In addition to The Home Depot “Retool Your School” campus improvement grant of $10,000, Morris Brown is looking forward to more corporate and community involvement. “Morris Brown has a crucial role to play in the future of Atlanta’s education community. We have a viable plan for the future and we will continue to turn to the greater Atlanta community for support and reinforcement,” said Dr. William DeVeaux, Chairman of the Morris Brown Board of Trustees and Bishop of the 6th District of the AME Church (Georgia).
Morris Brown College will continue its aggressive fundraising efforts to address other debts of the college and to provide needed scholarship aid for students who are attending and those young people who want to enroll. For more information about Morris Brown, please visit the website at www.morrisbrown.edu.
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