ATLANTA — At one-point Morris Brown College was portrayed in movie theaters across the country. It was featured in the 2002 film Drumline.
The school was an integral part of Atlanta culture and history. The rap group OutKast even named their 2006 hit song “Morris Brown” after the institution.
Now, Morris Brown College is a shell of its former self. According to the college, it has an enrollment of approximately 40 students.
“So, my goal has always been [to become] a historically black college president. God has brought me to this task. It is a heavy task, but I’m really enjoying it,” Dr. Kevin James said.
Dr. James, Morris Brown’s newest president, is making it his mission to help bring the college back to its glory days.
“I saw that the previous president had resigned. I saw it on the news actually. I was sitting there and was like wow, I want to be the next president of Morris Brown,” James explained.
James is a Columbia, South Carolina native, an educator and the former CEO of 100 Black Men.
It's been a long journey for Morris Brown, it is the first educational institution in our state to open under sole African American patronage. Unfortunately, the school lost its accreditation in 2002 and went bankrupt. It was saved when the city and Friendship Baptist Church bought it in 2014.
As an un-accredited school, students there can’t receive federal aid. Since taking over in March, he said the school has raised nearly half a million dollars.
“The day to day is really telling the story of Morris Brown and working to raise dollars for this institution,” he mentioned.
However, James said the goal is to raise $15 million to show the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools that they are financially stable.
“When I came in, I said I wanted to be the most transparent that I could be to gain the trust of the alumni, the community [and] shareholders. I strategically post three to five times a day to show look at what we’re doing,” he explained.
The school has already submitted its application for accreditation.
James said the school has also submitted its application to the Georgia Non-Public Post-Secondary Education Commission.
The goal is to raise as much money as they can so the hsitoric Morris Brown can be restored.
“God is with us and we are going to restore this institution,” James said.