Morris Brown College is being reinstated to its former status as one of the leading HBCUs in the country. The college received full accreditation in 2022 after having had it revoked in 2022 because of financial mismanagement. On Monday, students are able to apply for federal loans and have welcomed back Greek life on campus.

Morris Brown College celebrated this new beginning during homecoming week in October. It brought back the Iota chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. The institution also noted that it joined other HBCUs as part of the Atlanta University Center, including Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College.

“The first thing that I had to do was, I had to get people to believe,” Dr. Kevin James, the university president, told 11alive.

James said he used social media to build momentum. He highlighted that good leadership is integral to building stable and reliable foundations in order not to repeat mistakes from the past.

Founded in 1881, Morris Brown College was the first college in Georgia to be owned and operated by African Americans. It is home to Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois’ “The Souls of Black Folk,” and alumni have included Alberta Williams King, the mother of Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as James Alan McPherson, the first Black writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

“What we’ve done for our community for 142 years is that we’ve been an institution of access,” James said. “We call ourselves a safe haven for all hungry souls, a place where that student might need a second chance, where that student just needs someone to hold their hand and guide them. That’s Morris Brown College.”

“This institution has been so instrumental in helping to groom and build Atlanta, Georgia, and I don’t bite my tongue when I say that,” he added. “That is why this institution cannot close; that is why this institution cannot just survive but thrive.”

James noted the importance of HBCUs for the Black community, which provide a safe space for students.

“At HBCUs, there is no conversation about critical race theory, about slavery benefiting Black people. Come to where you are accepted, not tolerated,” he said. “That is the strength of HBCUs for our communities.” 

Morris Brown College now has 338 students enrolled, compared to 20 students four years ago. James credits this growth to the institution receiving full accreditation.