new college logo
|Religious affiliation||Southern Baptist Convention|
|President||Dr. Ergun Caner |
|Location||Mount Vernon, Georgia, USA|
|Campus||Rural, 280 acres (113 ha)|
|Colors||Orange & Blue|
Brewton–Parker College is a private, Christian, coeducational college whose main campus is located in Mount Vernon, Georgia, United States. Brewton-Parker is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention and celebrated their centennial in 2004.
In 1904, Reverend John Carter Brewton, pastor of the McRae Baptist Church, and Charles Benton Parker, a prominent businessman in McRae, resolved to establish a private boarding school to serve elementary and high school students from Montgomery County and the surrounding area. As there were no public high schools at that time, the school played an important role in furthering the education of the area’s youth. The Telfair and Daniell Baptist associations were enthusiastic supporters. The school was placed between Mount Vernon and Ailey, as working together the town bid more support than any either community. The Union Baptist Institute, chartered April 28, 1904, joined with other Baptist associations, with Rev. Brewton as elected president of its board of trustees.
The co-ed Union Baptist Institute formally opened on September 12, 1905 with a four-building campus, serving 160 students in grades one through eleven. The school's first year was very successful and as word spread, enrollment more than doubled to 365. In 1912 the school was renamed to Brewton-Parker Institute; it was accredited in 1918 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Brewton-Parker Institute became a junior college after college freshmen and sophomore classes were added in 1923 and 1927. Elementary classes were removed in 1929. In 1948, high school classes were also removed. The school was renamed Brewton-Parker Junior College and transferred to the governance of the Georgia Baptist Convention. By the early 1980s, public two-year community colleges had been established throughout the state. At the same time, there was a greater demand for graduates of four-year colleges. In mind of these changes, the school evolved on December 9, 1986 into a four-year institution, Brewton–Parker College.
Scandal hit the college in the late 1990s over fraud in the school's financial aid department. A lawsuit against the school was brought about by Martha Faw, then the assistant director of financial aid. An investigation begun by the United States Department of Education confirmed that Pell Grants had been given to ineligible students, payments had been made to non-U.S. citizens, and guidelines for work-study programs were not followed. In 1998, Brewton–Parker College agreed to repay the government $4 million in what was said to be the largest qui tam recovery in Georgia history. College president Y. Lynn Holmes resigned.
Dr. David R. Smith became college president in 1998, and at his first graduation address, Smith stated: "To any and all who recognized inept policies and errant behavior, and who continued to speak out against such things even in the face of opposition from those who preferred not to hear it, you should be applauded, not ridiculed." The college briefly outsourced the administration of their financial aid program until a new college policy and procedures manual was established in the Fall of 2000. A new position, Director of Financial Aid Compliance was established.
The main college campus is in Mount Vernon on 270 acres (109 ha) and includes forty-six buildings, outdoor athletic properties, and a 5-acre (20,000 m2) lake. Brewton–Parker College also has a campus in Newnan, located between LaGrange and Atlanta.
Organization and administration
BPC now offers undergraduate degrees in seven academic departments with 19 majors. Most of its programs have internships, offering practical, hands-on experience as well as academic content. Further, in applicable areas, undergraduates are encouraged to participate with faculty in performing research and presenting papers.
As the only independent college in rural southeast Georgia, BPC plays an important educational role in one of the state’s poorest areas. It serves many first generation college students and provides learning assistance to other, non-traditional students seeking to improve their knowledge and skills. Among private colleges, Brewton-Parker enrolls three times as many minority students as the national average.
There is a 2:1 female-male student ratio and a 9:1 student-faculty ratio. The student body is 73.2% Caucasian, 24% African American, 2% Hispanic, 0.5% Asian American or Pacific Islander and 0.3% Native American.
Regional accreditation issues
In June 2012, the college's regional accreditor placed the college on probation. Two years later, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) voted to remove Brewton–Parker College from membership. The college is appealing the decision and remains accredited (but on probation) while appealing.
On Saturday, December 6, 2014, Dr. Caner and members of his administration team met in Nashville, Tennessee with the SACSCOC Committee on Compliance and Reports to present new verified material evidence demonstrating Brewton-Parker College’s compliance with the Principles of Accreditation. Consequently, SACSCOC not only reaffirmed Brewton-Parker College's accreditation, the "on probation" status was removed.
Intramural sports include basketball, football, softball, table tennis, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball. Student groups at the school include a drama/theater group, a choral group, Council of Intramural Activities, Student Activities Council, Rotaract, Circle K, Alpha Omega Campus Ministry, Student Government Association, and a Baptist Campus Ministry (Baptist Collegiate Ministries, a.k.a. BCM).
The college also recently created an in-depth Creative Expressions BFA, which brought with it several extracurricular opportunities in creative writing, film production and analysis, visual art and musical theatre.
Brewton–Parker teams, known as the Barons, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball.
The men's baseball team won the NAIA championship in 1997. The Brewton–Parker College Barons Baseball team was declared co-champions of the SSAC Championship on May 3, 2010 and the Barons ranked as high as 15 nationally in that year. The Barons shared the title with then-No. 4-ranked Lee University Flames. The Barons won four straight games before losing to the Flames 8-0. They defeated Lee (46-11) in earlier rounds. The co-championship was declared when the deciding game was canceled due to inclement weather. Coach Greg "Boo" Mullins led the 2010 Barons Baseball team as head coach, and was named 2010 Coach of the Year by the Georgia Dugout Club. In July 2014, Mullins was named Athletics Director at Brewton-Parker College.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
- Wallace Moses made it to the Georgia Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Dennis Holmberg, 1969, has just completed 27 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
- Brewton-Parker College - College Overview. Peterson's. 2007-03-27.
- Turner, Ann C.: "Brewton-Parker College" New Georgia Encyclopedia, July 7, 2005
- Taxpayers Against Fraud Quarterly Review, Vol. 14, July 1998, 54-55.
- Thompson, Ginger: "Whistle-blower Gives Back To Target" Chicago Tribune, June 16, 1998
- "Brewton-Parker College Sued for Financial-Aid Fraud" Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 1997
- "126.96.36.199 Director of Financial Aid Compliance" Brewton-Parker College, Policy and Procedure Manual
- Doug Lederman (June 20, 2014). "A College Loses Accreditation". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved July 29, 2014.