Morris Brown College is receiving $2.9 million in federal funds for academic programs and building restoration.
During a Tuesday press conference, Dr. Kevin James, president of Morris Brown said the grant is the largest they have received in 20 years and will go towards the expansion of the school’s educational curriculum, updating buildings on campus, and creating programs to help graduates transition into the workforce.
“The future of Morris Brown College is very bright with these innovative programs for some very high demanding job areas that we anticipate being a pipeline for Black and Brown talent for the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, this region, and the country,” James said.
Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff helped secure the grant funds alongside Senator Raphael Warnock and was present for the announcement of the grant.
“I recognize the extraordinary role that this institution has played in our state’s history, and even more importantly, the extraordinary importance of this institution in training the next generation to succeed, in providing an opportunity to access high-quality education for students across the metro region, across the state, across the southeast, and across the country,” Ossoff said during the press conference.
Ossoff noted that during his run for Senate, he made a commitment to President James to get Morris Brown back to where it once was.
“We are well on our way through this renaissance that President James has led,” Ossoff said.
According to 11 Alive News, Ossoff helped restore eligibility to student veterans last year and helped restore federal financial aid for current and future Morris Brown students in 2021.
Most of the money will go toward academic programs, including a center for teaching and learning. About $500,000 is earmarked for the restoration of Fountain Hall, James said.
“Fountain Hall is a historical landmark here at Morris Brown College built back in 1881 by former slaves,” James said. “Dr. W.E.B. DuBois’ office was on the third floor of that building, so we absolutely need Fountain Hall to be restored.”
Morris Brown recently regained accreditation after losing it for two decades. During that time, the school wasn’t eligible to receive federal financial aid.
According to Ebony, since James assumed leadership of Morris Brown in 2019, the school has grown from 20 students to more than 270 students and enrollment is expected to surpass over 400 students this upcoming fall semester.