Morris Brown College Recovery
An On-Going Process
Leaning on the Legacy of African Americans Saving an African American Institution
Atlanta, GA (January 5, 2009).
Morris Brown College has just come through a month of financial challenges that could have crippled the college; instead it’s beginning to look like the phoenix – rising from ashes. The amazing feat is that alumni, students, college officials and board members met these challenges without any major contribution from corporate Atlanta or a donation from any philanthropic icon. Raising more than $200,000 in seven days to restore water to the 34 acre campus and to address a few more financial emergencies, the institution is still in a struggle to alleviate the more formidable long term issues of financial stability,
Morris Brown is facing a February 17 deadline to pay the $214,000 balance of its watershed debt to the City of Atlanta. In addition, Morris Brown has an immediate need to satisfy its financial obligations and stop the foreclosure of a lien on campus properties, and the moral duty to pay past due debts including faculty and staff who have continued to work without guarantee of monthly pay checks. Facing these challenges, as it welcomes more than 200 students back to classes following their winter break, the college continues to mount an aggressive fundraising effort. The “Yes We Care” campaigned, conceived by the Reverend C.T. Vivian -- a nationally respected community activist, is a nationwide effort to raise funds and awareness to keep Morris Brown in the business of providing a quality education for its students. “Two Yes We Care Rallies brought out the support of the African American Atlanta community,” said Dr. Stanley Pritchett, President of Morris Brown College. “It appears that we have touched a chord in the hearts and minds of the same African Americans who gave to the Barak Obama campaign believing that we can, as a people, do for ourselves,” continued Dr. Pritchett.
“It was 127 years ago when African Americans from the AME Church founded Morris Brown,” said Bishop William DeVeaux, Chairman of the Morris Brown College Board of Trustees, “and it has been African Americans, and the AME Church, who have stepped up to the plate, today, to save the institution. We are grateful for alumni like Angelo Taylor, a four-time Olympic gold medalist who graduated in the class of 2006, for his $10,000 contribution. We are also thankful for Terrence McKenzie, the thirteen year old son of Miranda Mack McKenzie (a Morris Brown Alumnae) who donated $100 worth of change he kept in his change jar. We want those who give to Morris Brown to be assured that every dollar received over the last two years, since the sitting Board of Trustees has been responsible for the College, has been put to good use,” Bishop DeVeaux added.
Prior to the December 12 crisis of the water shutdown, Morris Brown College was completing the process of a new and aggressive business plan put together with the assistance of the business department at Howard University. With this plan in hand, the Board of Trustees was positioned to work with a team of lawyers, bankers and financial advisors to find solutions to financial problems and address long term financial stability. “It is critical that the greater community realize the progress Morris Brown College has made toward recovery,” said Dr. Pritchett. “Because we have been able to remain open, with our team in place, we have reinvented the college with a new mission. We have a solid business plan; it is unfortunate that these pressing financial issues diverting attention from our long term solutions.” Pritchett added.
“We remain confident that Morris Brown College will not close its doors,” Pritchett continues. “We are seeking partnerships with the public and private sectors to meet our responsibilities and to place this Institution on solid financial footing,” Pritchett said, “And I am asking all who believe in linking social responsibility and ethical stewardship to meet specific needs of students who deserve a nurturing environment to achieve success to join us in making a commitment to the legacy of this Institution.”
Donations will be received at Morris Brown College; in addition, donations may be made to Morris Brown by sending a check, payable to the “Morris Brown Recovery Fund,” to Capitol City Bank, 562 Lee Street, SW; Atlanta, GA 30310, or by visiting any Capitol City Bank Branch located at 2358 Cascade Road, SW Atlanta; 5674 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain; or at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Suite S-4. Donations can also be made on line at www.morrisbrown.edu
Bunnie Jackson Ransom
404-226-8000 (cell) 404-505-8188 (office)