Morris Brown College Emerges From Bankruptcy

morris-brown-thumbIn 2002, Morris Brown College, a historically Black educational institution in Atlanta, lost its accreditation due to an unstable financial position. The loss of accreditation meant that students at the college could no longer qualify for federal financial aid. Since that time, the college has struggled to remain open. Much of the campus is in disrepair and many of the college’s buildings have been boarded up.

In 2012, the college filed for bankruptcy. Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code offers protection to businesses who are unable to pay their debts. The code gives them time to submit a reorganization plan and protects their assets during the process.

The college filed a reorganization plan that was accepted by the bankruptcy court. The plan involved the sale of 26 acres of land to the city for $14.7 million. The land is valuable real estate because it is adjacent to the new stadium being constructed for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League.

Under the reorganization plan, Morris Brown College retains ownership of three campus buildings. The college has now emerged from bankruptcy proceedings and will seek to regain its accreditation.

The college announced that 21 students will graduate from Morris Brown in May.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Robert Lee says:

    I am greatly disturbed that in this period where Morris Brown College is NOT accredited, it continues and has continued to recruit and enroll students, knowing that their academic work will not qualify them for transfer to another college/university, and their “degree” is not and will not be recognized as a college degree. Even more disturbing is the fact that Morris Brown is a part of the A.M.E. Church connection, so to allow the administration to “hoodwink” families and students into enrolling there, is an indictment against integrity. Several years ago I attended a diploma ceremony where the speaker declared that “We ain’t worried about no accreditation; the Lord accredits us.” I could barely hold my peace nor remain until the end of the ceremony. Our Black sons and daughters are victimized enough by others so for people who look like those same students to knowlingly participate in this sham, truly disturbs me. Our “children” deserve better.

    I am speaking as a private citizen and the views expressed here are my own!!

    • Ed says:

      You’re right but I hope students and their families are also doing their due diligence before enrolling there.

    • chris says:

      As a Morris Brown College graduate, I would say to you, to please have all of the “fact” before you speak…”yes” you can get accepted into a Master’s program after attending Morris Brown. One of the “ONLY” things that accreditation will NOT allow you to do is Get financial assistance from the Federal Gov! Students ARE enrolling and students ARE graduating! WE -Morris Brown College has NEVER closed and WE WILL REBUILD. if you would like to help instead of criticizing – please make a tax deductible to the revitalization of this GREAT institution! Other than that, your comments are just that Private! Be blessed sir.

      • Deborah Dessaso says:

        I beg to differ with Chris. The penalty of the loss of accreditation is not limited to being unable to get federal school funding. Depending on the discipline, other institutions are not required to recognize the degree from an unaccredited institution. This is especially true for disciplines such as nursing. And one can hardly blame the graduate schools. If the reason for the loss of accreditation includes the lack of credentialed faculty, who could trust that the students have been academically prepared for graduate-level work?

        I truly hope that Morris Brown is able to regain its accreditation. Too many African-Americans are turning to for-profit schools and racking up huge student loan debt to get degrees that often aren’t recognized in the job sector. We need HBCUs whose degrees mean something!

      • Tony Morris says:

        I appreciate your comment. Although I did not attend Morris Brown College I am a supporter of HBCUs’. Instead of hating on the college we as blacks collectively should come together to rectify the problem. We should hold administrators accountable, I’m Catholic but first I’m black, my focus is what can be done to make this right. Let’s stop bickering and unite together to bring back this Institution to what it once was.
        Tony Morris, Clark College 76
        Xavier University of Louisiana 79

    • Jeffery L. Miller says:

      You have an excellent point. Here is the reality. More than half of the graduates from Morris Brown have gone on to apply and be accepted to post secondary institutions such as GA Tech, Southern University, Emory University and Liberty University respectively. These are NOT statistics from the time when Morris Brown was accredited, this is since the college LOST its accreditation. No parents have been hoodwinked. No student has been given a subpar education. And even though the college is in the process of regaining its accreditation, it has never victimized any student.
      Now here is how you can help.
      Support Morris Brown in its efforts to rebuild with financial contributions or at minimum, your positive energy.
      Or support South Carolina State University as it fights for fair and equitable treatment. Or Alabama State.
      Or support any of the HBCUs who have seen their coffers dry up because of the apathy and neglect by our own community. And if you are doing something, continue to support HBCUs and encourage others to join you. To paraphrase your words, the schools built by us for us deserve better.

      • Akesha Clarke says:

        Not true, I was student there. I was charge 4 times for a laptop 2 x for one semester of housing and 2x the tuition to rack up a bill of over $40,000 in one year. Crazy! Morris Brown refuses to give me my transcripts even though they stole from me and the govt. I have been fighting to get this bill discharged for 14 years! I know many of my classmates who are affected the same way.

        • Nina says:

          Same here.. People are quick to assume.. but as a student who was enrolled during this time, and wasted 25k… you wouldn’t be too happy.. I’m not trying to get some or all of my loans discharged

  2. Dr. Carlos J. Minor says:

    I hope that Morris Brown College is able to rebound and become what it once was. I am an AUC product (Clark Atlanta University) and I remember when Morris Brown was thriving. Let’s hope they come back strong.

  3. Vincent Warwick, PhD says:

    As many of our HBCUs face some financial struggle it would be to the advantage of us to truly understand the mission, function and role of our HBCUs to thrive and stay alive and educate and promote leadership. I am so very proud of Morris Brown College for fulfilling the struggle of surviving and give its accolades for keeping the dream alive. I am confident that you will become even better than you once were. Though I am not an HBCU graduate and person of color I strongly feel that Morris Brown will continue to thrive and make her ancestors extremely proud for I know the importance of HBCUs and particularly Morris Brown that has provided a strong academic education to many of our Educators, Business leaders and Social Action leaders. I say fight on and do not allow negativity hold you back from what the GOD of our understanding has for you. I wish you well in your recruitment process and regaining full accreditation. I remember all all that this great institution did for many of African-Americans and know that you have survived and if we all see the value of Education and understand history why Morris Brown College must become a much stronger institution and fight harder to stay alive and thrive.

  4. Mark Williams says:

    As a proud graduate of Morris Brown College in 1984, I am thrilled this process is finally complete. However, I went back on campus in Feburary 2015 and couldn’t believe the state of disrepair it was in. We still have a long road ahead in order to return this proud college back to its glory years.

  5. Julius Cromwell says:

    I’m confident that this experience will not only strengthen Morris Brown College, but it will serve to demonstrate just how determined the trustees, administration and alumni are in keeping the doors open. The struggle is by no means over. The accreditation, enrollment, infrastructure and financial stability are issues that still must be resolved. These are the same issues that other HBCUs continue to face in order to survive in today’s changing educational environment. We will continue to pray for Morris Brown College, and wish them God’s speed on their journey to success.

  6. Quran says:

    I lost money dealing with this school and they still trying to say I owe them money! This is a shame Mo B was the projects considered to the other schools in the AUC. They accepted everybody took people’s money. I couldn’t get none of my transcripts and had to start all over! It’s a Shame when I look at the school because I have so many fond memories on that campus! So is an online school now because they are still enrolling people?

  7. Youry says:

    I didn’t attend MBC, I attended another’s HBCU. My school faced the same dilemma but we pulled through it. The university is thriving under the new leadership who is retiring at the end of this month. I believe that if the alumni pull together and meet the standards of the DOE and other federal government agencies, MBC shall rise again. Just try and pursue it.

  8. Rosalind says:

    I pray that Morris Brown will rise again. We’ve seen people pull together to make impossible things happen. The alumni should unite to help MBC, with donations, talent, and leadership. Also, ensure that the administrator are accountable for any money that is invested in the school.

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