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Morris Brown College, founded in 1881 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is facing foreclosure, and will be auctioning off its assets, including its administration building, on September 4.

Morris Brown has been in dire financial straits for about 10 years, with its student body dwindling from 3,000 to just 50. The latest step towards foreclosure was brought on by the investors’ move to call in $13 million in bonds tied to the school. The school pledged property, like the administration building, to secure the bonds.

“There is the need to raise millions of dollars to counteract that deficit,” Benjamin Harrison, a spokesperson for the Sixth District African Methodist Episcopal Church, which oversees the school, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Morris Brown isn’t accredited, so it’s not eligible for federal funds. In 2003, it lost its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools under a haze of fraud (the president of the school at the time, Dolores Cross, pleaded guilty to embezzlement)  and high debts.

“This is heartbreaking and not only a sad day in the life of Morris Brown, but in black academia,” said former Atlanta City Councilman and alum Derrick Boazman.

 

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