Rolling Out

Kevin James, president of Morris Brown, celebrates regaining accreditation

Kevin James, president of Morris Brown, celebrates regaining accreditation
Kevin E. James, Ed.D., president of Morris Brown College

History has been made.

In 2002, Morris Brown College lost its accreditation due to financial mismanagement. Fast forward 20 years later, and the university is back on the map thanks to the hard work of Morris Brown College President Kevin James, Ed.D.

“This is a historic moment for Morris Brown College, James told rolling out. “From my understanding, no other HBCU has ever been able to come back and rebound after losing its accreditation. It’s been a 20-year hiatus without our accreditation, and so coming out of $35-million bankruptcy, not being able to pay our bills, and not being able to pay faculty, 20 years has passed, and it is a big deal for us.”

With gaining their accreditation back, this opens up doors for everybody at the HBCU as faculty, staff, and students are able to have a bright future.

“Again, accreditation is synonymous with the word quality, and we have met the standard set forth by the United States Department of Education,” James said. “The next thing is with our accreditation, we are now eligible for federal financial aid. We just had our federal financial aid title for funding reinstated, which gives us access to student loans, grants, scholarships, and federal monies that we had not had access to in the last 20 years.”

When you’re the first to do something historic, you should expect others to want the blueprint as well and James said other schools have sought his advice.

“A lot of colleges have called me and said, ‘Hey, will you please share with me with us your blueprint, and how you did this.’ Everyone knows the story of Morris Brown, and we’re very unique, mainly because we were in the movie Drumline, and most people have seen it. So again, we’re a kind of a household name to folks who probably don’t even know we exist,” he said.

Morris Brown’s commencement is on May 21, and being able to celebrate this accomplishment right on time is big for James, and for the HBCU.

“This is history,” James said. “This 2022 graduation class is our first accredited graduating class in almost 20 years, so it’s special these five students that are graduating with an accredited degree are able to go to graduate school and do whatever their heart desires. I’m just very, very happy that this was able to happen this year.”

Kevin James, president of Morris Brown, celebrates regaining accreditation
Derek Lewis (Photo courtesy of Carey Sheffield)

Morris Brown graduates will mark the milestone with what is sure to be a memorable address from Derek Lewis, president, multicultural business and equity development for Pepsico.

“I am flattered to be invited to speak at Morris Brown College’s 2022 commencement,” said Lewis. “It’s an honor and privilege to share my story with the future leaders of tomorrow and to help provide them with some words of support and guidance as they enter the next chapter of their lives.”

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