Morris Brown College Surprises Entire Senior Class at Benjamin E. Mays High with Acceptance Letters

272 seniors at the high school received acceptance letters to Morris Brown College during a special assembly, thanks to the efforts of Morris Brown's President, Dr. Kevin James.

Students of Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta, Ga., received the ultimate gift—surprise acceptance letters to attend Morris Brown College, WABE reports.

On Friday (May 10), seniors gathered just before lunch for what they believed was an assembly to announce the valedictorian, salutatorian, and other senior superlatives. 

But they were stunned when they heard the news that 272 seniors had been admitted to Morris Brown. Their only requirement is that they graduate with a GPA above a 2.0.

Dr. Kevin James, president of Morris Brown, was on hand to make the announcement where he spoke about the legacy of the storied HBCU.

“We were founded back in 1881,” James said. “What makes our institutions very unique is because we’re the only Black college in the state of Georgia that was actually founded by Black people, for Black people.”

“When I started as president of Morris Brown five years I go…I felt like God sent me to do this life work… to restore Morris Brown College to its full restoration,” James continued. 

James also spoke to significant contributions of the high school’s namesake, Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, a former president of Morehouse College, a noted scholar, Baptist minister, and close mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King.

“This high school – Benjamin E. Mays – is a historic institution, just like Morris Brown is,” James told the senior class.

The story of Morris Brown’s turnaround began more than two decades ago. In 2002, the school had its accreditation revoked because of severe financial problems. In 2012, the institution was on the brink of foreclosure and because of a $30 Million debt, the school filed for bankruptcy.

In 2022, Morris Brown College regained its accreditation and under James’ leadership, went from 20 students when he first became president in 2019, to now more than 200 students.

Jaydan Price, one of the seniors who received acceptance to Morris Brown, expressed his excitement about matriculating to the school as a freshman next year. 

“The real question is, why not? Why wouldn’t I go?” Price said. “When you have a community and a school built on history and legacy, why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?”

Price says he will continue “to walk on the shoulders of giants”, just like he's done at Mays by attending Morris Brown.

“It’s history,” Price said. “It’s a legacy to keep and an image to uphold.”

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