Atlanta-based Morris Brown College has a new plan to tackle its $34 million debt and bankruptcy.
The historic black college, founded in 1881 by freed slaves, held "A Day of Praise and Thanksgiving" in its campus gymnasium. As the service ended, Morris Brown attorney Renardo Hicks pleased the crowd with the school’s latest financial news.
"The African Methodist Episcopal Church, Inc. has actually come forward and bought out the legal position of Morris Brown’s largest creditor. The AME church has actually written a check for seven million dollars and replaced the largest creditor in the Morris Brown bankruptcy”.
The AME church bought out the portion of debt held by a creditor who previously tried to foreclose on the school. A bankruptcy court already approved a preliminary plan which includes selling a Morris Brown dormitory, the student center, and the campus post office. Private companies will also redevelop parts of Morris Brown. Should everything go according to plan, Hicks says the college is hoping to regain its academic accreditation in under two years.
45-year-old Mary Hemphill is a Morris Brown senior focused on Biology. Hemphill says she’s not at all nervous about the school’s accreditation status and is proud to be a student during the school’s turbulent time.
“My stance is the accreditation is a political thing. The important thing is as long as I learn what I need to learn, and as long I am able to apply it to my day-to-day life, then I’m able to progress in life”.
The school’s final plan goes before bankruptcy court this Friday. Morris Brown currently has 15 faculty members and less than 50 enrolled students.