Morris Brown Pays Off Water Bill, Stays Afloat

Published March 23, 2009

Historically Black Morris Brown College in Atlanta has paid of the balance of an overdue water bill, rescuing the campus from the brink of closure.

The financially troubled institution is mired in debt and as late as last month owed more than $215,000, but a flurry of last-minute fundraising allowed the campus to submit a check to the city’s water board for 64,887.32, according to station WABE.

A judge ruled that if Morris Brown did not pay the bill the city would be allowed to turn off the water. Without water, the school would have been forced to close.

In 2004, the campus was embroiled in a scandal, and has been reeling ever since. Federal prosecutors charged former President Dolores Cross and Financial Aid Director Parvesh Singh with embezzling millions in federal aid and diverting it to ineligible college costs, such as personal staff, instead of subsidizing the students whose names were used to obtain the funds. All but 20 percent of the 2,500 students received financial aid, which amounted to about $8 million per year.

Morris Brown, the first educational institution in Georgia under sole African-American patronage, was founded in 1885.

Written by BET.com Staff

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