Morris Brown College (MBC) has been on the rise since Dr. Kevin James became its leader. First serving as interim president in March 2019, James has been on a mission to restore the institution’s legacy.
Named the 19th president of the college in 2020, his positive impact is undisputed and will be felt for generations to come. The proof is in the pudding after MBC recently earned its accreditation back after 20 years and financial aid has been restored for students.
The 140-year-old historically Black college was founded in 1881 and is part of the Atlanta University Consortium (AUC), which includes Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Interdenominational Theological Center and Spelman College. MBC is “the only college in Georgia founded solely by African American patronage,” according to morrisbrown.edu.
Jarai Boykins is a junior Psychology major who serves as the school’s Social Media Manager for its Student Government Association.
“I’m very appreciative of the positive changes that are happening as far as student life and people helping out the school. In Atlanta and just in the south period, a lot of people think of Morris Brown from Drumline and all of the other public media that we have received, but a lot of the south thinks that Morris Brown is still closed. I appreciate us getting our name back out there and going back to being alive as we once were,” said Boykins.
In 2002, the college ran into some trouble resulting from the former president and financial aid director being caught embezzling federal funding. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) revoked MBC’s accreditation due to debt and financial mismanagement. Consequently, students lost access to federal financial aid and began pulling away from the college. With financial aid, the college’s enrollment was 2,700 students, but without it enrollment drastically dropped to about 50 students.
James has a plan to increase enrollment. He announced via Instagram that MBC is the most affordable HBCU in Atlanta, “and one of the most affordable in the entire Southwest.”
It is clear that the #TheHardReset is only the beginning for Morris Brown.