If you did not get the opportunity to attend the 136th Founders Day Convocation, you missed a powerful and inspiring message from Morris Brown College Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bishop Reginald T. Jackson. This year’s theme was “Imagine, Aspire, Believe”, chosen to reflect the current status of the College as it moves toward gaining accreditation. He posed the question, “How do you move from imagination to realization?”
“Imagine if next year is the reverse of this year where over 4,000 students applied to Morris Brown College but did not enroll because of the issue of accreditation. Imagine the faculty and staff are able to focus on educating students and not distracted by worries about their own careers and futures. Imagine if Morris Brown College once again found itself listed among the fully accredited institutions of higher education across the country. Just imagine. This is what I imagine for Morris Brown College and I hope you can imagine.”
Bishop Reginald T. Jackson
· College goal was to raise 100,000 for Founders Day
· Class of 1967 was present
· Delta Sigma Theta raised almost $10,000
· Former President Dr. Jolly and his wife attended
· National Alumni Association Meeting held
· College is working to increase annual alumni giving to 2,000 or more participants per year
· AME 6th District & Connectional Church will support Morris Brown College while he is Bishop
He compared the school’s ability to bounce back to basketball teams competing for the NCAA championship, posing the question, “How do you rebound?”
“There is an interesting fact about the game of basketball that most of us miss. Most of us believe the games are determined by which team scores the most points…The fact is that in over 90 percent of the games that are played, both teams miss most of their shots. Most of them shoot less than 50 percent. … I found the game is not determined by who shoots the best, most of the games are determined by who rebounds the best….Rebounding is not only important in the game of basketball but is also important in higher education.”
“As we gather to celebrate the 136th founding of Morris Brown College…I simply want to remind us today that the most important thing for Morris Brown College now is to rebound, to bounce back from where we were.
If Morris Brown College is going to rebound, we are going to have to strategize and plan. The administration in collaboration with the board is going to have to come up with a plan and strategy that will enable us to rebound, to bounce back. And the plan must be one the team is able to implement and carry out. It’s got to be a well developed plan.”
He added that higher education is a team sport that will require enthusiastic participation of all, from the board and foundation to faculty and staff…the College must put its best team in place to get the job done. “It may require some who are not starting to get off the bench and get into the game!”
Don’t Ask Others To Do What You Can do for Yourself
The keynote address focused on the need for self-reliance and changing with the times. “The structure you had in the 1980’s and the 2000’s is not the structure you need in 2017. You got to put structures in place that are going to serve for today. You got to position yourselves academically. And then we got to be in position financially…financially sound…You can’t keep asking other folk to do for you what you won’t do for yourself. You got to understand that the Lord will not do for you what you can do for yourself! Doesn’t matter how long you pray. If you can do it for yourself, the Lord not going to do it for you”.
He added that there is a need for strong support of alumni. “The help of 400 alumni will not do it! If Morris Brown just had 4,000 alumni give 500 dollars a years, that would be…would be two million dollars a year. Four thousand alumni, 500 dollars a year, two million dollars a year would help create some financial sustainability. If we’re going to get reaccreditation and bounce back, we got to have financial sustainability.”
The Chair outlined specific ways to reach goals. “First of all we got to position ourselves. Secondly, …if you’re going to rebound then you also need to know how to block. In other words, you got to block opposition from getting in position to get your rebound. You’ve got to block out. You not only got to get in position, you got to block out the opposition. If we’re going to bounce back, the next thing we got to do is block out incompetence. We got to block out mediocrity. We got to block out lack of accountability. That’s the mess that got us in this situation in the first place. We got to make sure we block it out so it doesn’t come back again. And if we going to block it out, there are three words which are critical to our bouncing back.
The first word is transparency. There’s got to be transparency. People will do better if they see better. You can’t hide stuff from folks and ask them to support you. Then there’s got to be responsibility…responsible means being able to respond. We got to be able to respond to the situation in which we find ourselves. Then the third word is accountability. You got to hold folk accountable. Morris Brown College must not be the only institution where accountability doesn’t matter. And then finally, if we’re going to bounce back not only do we have to get in position, not only do we have to rebound but the third thing we gave to do is watch. We got to see.
There are a whole lot of folks who don’t want us to see…People can take advantage of you when you can’t see. If you’re going to rebound, you got to be able to see. You got to be able to see them take the shot and where the shot is going. You got to be able to see whether or not it is able to go in. You got to be able to see where it’s going to bounce in order to be a good rebounder…you got to be able to see. Morris Brown College, if we are going to be a good rebounder, we got to not only see what we are, we got to be able to see what we can become. And I want Morris Brown to defy its critics who believe Morris Brown can’t bounce back. Who believe that Morris Brown can’t rebound. I want you to believe in yourself. Believe in Morris Brown College and believe that God is not through with us yet. I want us to fool everybody. I want us to bounce back and be the best institution in the AU Center that we could possibly be.
…I want us to be like Jesus… yes you knocked us down but we’re going to bounce back! We’re going to pick ourselves up. We’re going to come back…I just want you to be arrogant enough to believe. I want you to walk with a swagger. I want you to have confidence that God is not through with us yet. Can you imagine that the best is yet to come?
How to Give
· Mail checks to Morris Brown College, 643 M.L.K. Jr Dr NW Atlanta, GA 30314
· Go to www.morrisbrown.edu website and contribute. You have the option of designating your contribution to a variety of categories
· For a general contribution at the website, click on the PayPal button
· For a specified category contribution, hit the “Click and Pledge” button
· Establish a minimum amount to give annually to help sustain the College financially
· Attend and respond in a timely fashion to annual fundraisers giving what you can
· Encourage other alumni and friends to make a contribution