“You can’t continue to move forward unless you give back what you are given. It is our calling.”
These words were once spoken by Oprah Winfrey, who in 2003 stood at the center of a fundraiser for Bennett College during the “Revitalizing Bennett Campaign,” which sought to raise $50 million for the school.
There’s has been word of Virginia HBCU, Saint Paul’s College suspending classes for the fall semester after its loss of accreditation and low student count. The school only had about 400 students last academic year with financial issues remaining at the forefront. Recently, it’s been reported that one of the oldest HBCU’s, Morris Brown College, is facing foreclosure after $13 million worth of bonds tied to the school were called by investors.
Bonds that were issued in 1996 by the Fulton County Development Authority have contributed to a deficit that the school is unable to repay. Morris Brown, founded by former slaves in 1881, lost several financial supporters following its loss of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation in 2003. Due to unaccreditation, the school receives no federal funding. Cases of fraud, debt and mismanagement of finances have also contributed to the school’s growing debt.
Although the school was able to raise $500,000 in an effort to settle a $9.9 million debt to the U.S. Department of Education last year, it was reported that they owed more than $30 million to creditors.
“This is heartbreaking and not only a sad day in the life of Morris Brown, but in black academia,” said former Atlanta City Councilman Derrick Boazman, a 1990 graduate of Morris Brown. “The school is needed now more than ever.”
There will be a prayer vigil this Saturday with plans to move forward.
Read the complete article on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.
BMWK, what can we do to help support and save our historical universities and colleges? Are you an HBCU alum or do you have family members and close friends who are? Would you send your kids to an HBCU? Why/Why not?