Morris Brown College, a private, coeducational, liberal arts college engaged in teaching and public service announces the appointment of four new members to its board of trustees. The appointments expand the current board count by an additional member and comprise a mix of expertise in business, education and government. Led by Chairman Reginald T. Jackson, the Morris Brown College Board of Trustees adds alumnus Charles Ogletree, a retired General Motors Corporation executive and business consultant, Dr. John Foster, former HBCU educator and AME pastor, Dr. Roland Thorpe, collegiate educator and founder of the Black Men’s Health Project and alumnae Marjorie Young, retired Georgia Merit System Commissioner and human resources consultant. “The new board leaders with education experience will help us continue to shape the direction and development of our curriculum,” said Jackson. “The business and government expertise we’ve added should complement the additional structure needed to get us to the next level. As we work to turnaround the institution, we seek to cultivate an environment at Morris Brown College that inspires innovation and lifelong learning.” Swearing in, orientation and training for new board members was held in June. Some members had already been active in other capacities with the school but look forward to a new role that will have a greater impact. Morris Brown College is currently engaged in an aggressive fundraising campaign and is implementing a strategic plan to benefit sustainability and assist accreditation efforts. For more information, go to www.morrisbrown.edu.
About Clarence Ogletree
“I am poised to do all I can to help and intend to focus on the critical need of fundraising. I understand the discipline and commitment required to meet a challenging task because as a student, that’s what Morris Brown College taught me.”
– Clarence Ogletree
Clarence Ogletree brings a passion to his new role that is unparalleled by many. As a Morris Brown graduate and serving a long career as a successful business executive, he is uniquely qualified to understand the needs of the student as well as fundraising required to move the institution forward. He currently runs a business consultancy and formerly served as the Chief Information Officer for General Motors Corporation. He also served as Process Information Officer for GM North Manufacturing and as Technology Information Officer for Infrastructure and Operations. His background includes several positions with the Whirlpool Corporation and with Tenneco Oil. He has remained committed to Morris Brown College since graduating serving on the National Alumni Association and more recently on an internal Focus Group. He knows the main goal right now is to get the institution accredited and is optimistic the college can gain that status. “We have everything we need to get there now except the funding,” said Ogletree. “I’ve worked for corporations that are in a position to help us financially as soon as we reach that status.” He feels the college has a unique opportunity to attract the kind of people who can contribute to the economic vitality of the local community as entrepreneurs and small business owners, particularly since it is located in close proximity to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He understands there is a real challenge ahead but feels the school will continue its legacy of addressing its traditional stakeholders, those in the African American community most in need of educational opportunities. Ogletree holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Morris Brown College and a Masters of Business Administration in Management from Georgia State University. Leadership and awards include serving as Chairman of the Black MBA Association and as a member of the AT&T Asia-Pacific Customer Advisory Council, being named National Black Engineer of the Year (2004) and receiving the American Manufacturing Strategy IT Award for Innovation.
About John Foster, PhD
“I believe my skills could have a direct impact on the where the college is heading right now. I bring to this new role 25 years experience as a faculty member and administrator. Obstacles are still present but Morris Brown College is taking the right steps now to move forward.” – John Foster, PhD
Dr. Foster has a distinguished career, both as clergy in the AME Church and as an educator at several colleges and universities. He has a firsthand knowledge of what HBCU’s deal with on a daily basis having taught electrical engineering and computer science at Tuskegee University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Morehouse College, Savannah State University as well as University of South Carolina and University of Phoenix. He has also held administrative positions of Vice Provost, Dean and department head. “During that tenure, I successfully prepared my units for accreditation visits on several occasions and I presently serve as the 6th AME District accountant,” said Foster. “I seek to identify funds from the 6th AME District and other sources which can help Morris Brown College.” He currently serves as Senior Pastor at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta and previously served as pastor in the 2nd, 10th and 6th AME Episcopal Districts. Foster has also held a variety of religious leadership positions including Dean of the Board of Examiners, Conference Trustee Board Member, Episcopal District Technology Officer and Episcopal District Chief Statistician. His AME pastoral appointments include St. Stephens (Mt. Gilead, NC), Williams Chapel (Hempstead, TX), Hope (Prairie View, TX), Pleasant Hill (Atlanta, GA), Rock Temple (Conyers, GA), St. Philip (Savannah, GA) and Allen Temple (Atlanta, GA). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tuskegee University and a Master of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center and received a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Foster served as principal investigator on more than 30 funded research grants with sponsoring agencies of the National Science Foundation, NASA, AT&T, General Motors, Army and Digital Equipment Corporation. Awards and honors include Outstanding Faculty of Year (1988, 1991), Outstanding Administrator of Year (1995), Successful Unit Administrator for four SACS and five ABET accreditation visits (Engineering and Computer Science).
About Roland Thorpe
“I am an HBCU graduate and will leverage my experience in previous leadership positions to help Morris Brown College become a leading institution among peers. My expertise allows me to contribute from the academic perspective while providing guidance in other areas.
– Dr. Roland Thorpe
Dr. Roland Thorpe, a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University is the son of an HBCU graduate so it was no surprise that when it came time for him to enroll in college, he picked an HBCU. His mother, a native of Macon, Georgia graduated from Morris Brown College. “I want to give back,” said Thorpe. “I have the same level of enthusiasm and excitement for HBCUs today as I did when I was an undergraduate at Florida A&M University.” He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a social epidemiologist and gerontologist whose work appears in flagship journals including Journals of Gerontology Medical Sciences, Social Science and Medicine, American Journal of Men’s Health and International Journal of Men’s Health. He is also founder of The Black Men’s Health Project, a coalition of Black male doctors and researchers who represent some of the leading institutions in America, including George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Meharry Medical College and Michigan State University. The organization surveys Black men across the country with the goal to gather valuable data to gain in-depth perspectives on Black male health to determine factors that contribute to the health disparities. Thorpe looks forward to working with other Morris Brown Trustee Board leaders to create an environment that facilitates student centered learning and capacity building to train the next generation of world leaders. He holds an undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University in Theoretical Mathematics and holds an MS and Doctorate from Purdue University in Statistics and Clinical Epidemiology and Gerontology. His professional honors and memberships include Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award, Fellow – Behavioral and Social Sciences of the Gerontological Society of America, Student Assembly of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Advising, Mentoring and Teaching Recognition Award (AMTRA), Member, Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society and the AARP Andrus Foundation, Gerontological Society of America’s 2002 Minority Doctoral Leadership Development Program.
About Marjorie Harris Young
“To be successful you must have a clear vision then figure out how to execute that vision. With a laser focus on accreditation, I will use my skills to be able to strategically plan and execute results to realize our goal.”
– Marjorie Harris Young
Marjorie Harris Young is a retired Commissioner of the Georgia Merit System and the first African-American to serve in that capacity. A graduate of Morris Brown College, she served as the Commissioner of the Georgia Merit System of Personnel Administration where she was first appointed by Governor Roy Barnes and reappointed by Governor Sonny Perdue. Under her leadership, the State’s Human Resources System was named “likely the best in the country” by Governing Magazine, receiving the only “A” grade of all 50 states. “I consider myself a visionary who had to execute vision,” said Young. “I believe with my background in leadership, human resources, strategic planning, financial budgeting, organization and particularly execution, I can be of some help”. For 34 years she served in various capacities including Public Health Deputy Director, Assistant to the Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, Division Director of Youth Services, Division Director of Human Development, District Rehabilitation Services Director, Program Specialist, Supervisor, Counselor and Mental Health Professional. After retirement, Young opened a regional office for CPS Human Resources Services, a self supporting government agency in Sacramento, California. Currently she is President and CEO of her own consulting firm where services include leadership development, strategic and workforce planning, classification and compensation, recruitment and selection, executive search, performance management, policy development, customer service, benefits and total rewards planning and process engineering. She holds an undergraduate degree from Morris Brown College in Psychology and two graduate degrees in counseling, psychological services and public administration from Georgia State University. Some of her management/leadership honors include the 100 Most Influential Women in Georgia, the Stephen Covey Model State Agency Award, the Eugene H. Rooney, Jr. Awards for Leadership and the Maynard Holbrook Jackson Leadership and Public Service Award. Young has been a consistent and lifelong supporter of Morris Brown College as a life member of the National Alumni Association and charter member of the South Metro Chapter (Atlanta).
(About Morris Brown College: Morris Brown College is a premier, educational public square that cultivates inspiration, innovation and life-long learning. Through this committed vision, learners are competitive in a market responsive work environment. Founded in 1881, it is chartered by the State of Georgia as a private, coeducational, liberal arts college committed to excellence in academic programs and professional education. Our mission is to prepare our graduates to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives by providing a high quality education through experiential, collaborative and discovery-based learning. For more information, go to www.morrisbrown.edu.)