Our Time Press

MORRIS BROWN POISED FOR THE FUTURE

Dr. Kevin James, left, is the 19th President of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. As  the Chief Executive Officer, he is responsible for the leadership and management of all aspects of college operations.  Dr. James is committed to restoring the legacy of the only college in America founded by formerly enslaved African Americans, including, left, Dr. Wesley  John Gaines, right, who taught himself to read and write. In fall 2020, Dr. James sent out a call for help, and Morris Brown alum Dr. Sheree Jones Dixon, MD, center, responded.  She donated $100,000 towards the college’s application for reaccreditation.  The college was founded in 1881.

Morris Brown College, a private, liberal arts HBCU in Atlanta, has announced it received accreditation candidacy through the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) after nearly 20 years.
Facing foreclosure in 2002, amidst financial discrepancies and loss of federal funding, the school is now “focusing on (its) present and its future,” said Kevin James, president of Morris Brown College, to The Grio.com, last month. “We are elated about accreditation candidacy and making history.. as the first HBCU to regain its status after a twenty-year hiatus.”
In a statement to The Atlanta Voice, said Dr. James, said, “We’re under a new administration, we’re under a new leader, we have a new board, we have a new president, a new CFO. We a new registrar and financial aid director; I mean, we have gone through what I call the hard reset.
“Basically, we have wiped the slate clean and we’re moving the institution forward in a positive integral way. Anyone who’s interested in Morris Brown, we ask them to go to our website.
“It says that people are now seeing the value and the relevance of historically black colleges and universities, we’ve always been relevant, but now people are really getting a good look because it’s a bigger spotlight on HBCUs. I believe a lot of this came out of the wake of all the social issues that are going on around the country” Dr. James said to theGrio.
This success could be more than a win for just Morris Brown. Dr. James shared to The Grio.com, “There are several other HBCUs that are closed, that have contacted me, who have said, ‘you know, wow we’ve been watching you and watching Morris Brown, now maybe we can try,’ and now they’re putting together their boards to make a comeback.”
Dr. James became interim president of the college in March 2019 and was named the 19th president in May 2020. With the first anniversary of his official tenure this month, the higher education professional is excited to be a part of the landmark restorative process.
The Morris Brown Colored College (Morris Brown College’s original name) was founded on January 5, 1881 by African Americans led by Reverend Wesley John Gaines affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. During Our Time Press June Men’s Month, the legacies of Black men who pushed for the opening of institutions of higher learning for Black people will be explored.

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