Morris Brown College, a private, historically Black college in Atlanta, is set to lose a significant portion of its approximately 32-acre campus if it cannot pay a $13.1 million debt to the U.S. Bank National Association.
The loan was taken out in 1996 through the Fulton County, Ga. Development Authority. Morris Brown College received a notice of foreclosure on Aug. 6 after failing to make the full payment to the creditor. The college would have to make the full payment by Sept. 6.
The college’s board of trustees will hold a national day of prayer on Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. in the college’s gym. Benjamin Harrison, spokesperson for the Morris Brown College head of trustees, asked for alumni, students, churches and secular institutions to come out for the prayer and join in the effort to help the college.
“The board of trustees will deliver their formal response to the notice of foreclosure and offer their plan for reorganizing, restricting and revitalizing the school and move it beyond and through this difficult situation,” said Harrison. “There are many alumni and supporters who have been giving. The challenges that Morris Brown is facing has been so great as a result of the loss of accreditation and mismanagement of leadership and this is part of the process that it has gone through.”
Harrison said that the college has been under new leadership since July with Dr. Preston W. Williams II stepping up as chairman of the board of trustees. Williams is an Atlanta native who has served on the Atlanta Board of Education for over 20 years as president, vice-president and treasurer.
“He is dialed into and well-connected into the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. He has the professional, business and educational background to be able to accomplish the revitalization of Morris Brown at this point and time,” said Harrison.
Earlier this summer, the college announced it settled its $9.9 million debt to the U.S. Department of Education with a $500,000 payment.
“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,” Dr. Stanley Pritchett, president of Morris Brown, said in a statement. 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.”
In the settlement agreement, Morris Brown College had 90 days starting on May 26 to submit payment.
Morris Brown College has filed for reaccreditation by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, which provides accreditation to colleges with Christian principles in its mission. Morris Brown lost its accreditation from the Southern Association of College and Schools 10 years ago, making it ineligible for federal aid and other federal funding.