Atlanta University Center
|Atlanta University Center, Inc.|
|Motto||Strength in Diversity|
|Established||April 1, 1929|
|Address||156 Mildred Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30314, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
The Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUC Consortium) is the largest contiguous consortium of African Americans in higher education in the United States. The center consists of four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in southwest Atlanta, Georgia. The institutions included in this consortium are Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College and the Morehouse School of Medicine. The consortium structure allows for students to cross-register at the other institutions in order to attain a broader collegiate experience. They also share the Robert W. Woodruff Library, a Dual Degree Engineering Program and Career Planning and Placement Services.
The Atlanta University Center (AUC) was created in April 1929, when John Hope, then president of both Morehouse College and Atlanta University saw the potential gains from such a consortium. The former Atlanta University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College signed the affiliation agreement and became the original members of the AUC. Clark College and Morris Brown College joined in 1957, followed by the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in 1959. Morehouse School of Medicine joined the AUC in 1983. Morris Brown ended its affiliation when the school lost its accreditation in 2002.
The Atlanta University Center has undergone several administrative and governance changes since its inception. In 2004, the business operating as AUC, Inc. was dissolved. A new corporation, known as the AUC Consortium, Inc., was established in its place and Marilyn Jackson became the first female Executive Director. In 2011, the current Executive Director, Dr. Sherry Turner, was selected to expand the Consortium’s community revitalization efforts.
To be eligible for membership in the AUC Consortium, a college or university must be regionally accredited, maintain tax-exempt status, and pay a membership assessment. Morris Brown College was a member of the AUC Consortium until it lost its accreditation and federal funding in 2002 during the 1998–2002 tenure of Dr. Dolores E. Cross as school president.
The ITC, while still fully operational and eligible for membership, is not currently a member.
The AUC campuses are located in the Atlanta University Center District, near downtown Atlanta southwest of the Georgia Dome.
Olive Branch Tradition
Olive Branch is a long-standing tradition where students from Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman gather for an AUC unity ceremony and celebration every August before the beginning of the fall semester.
Homecomings in the AUC
Morehouse and Spelman annually hosts homecoming festivities the same week. The combined homecoming is often referred to as "SpelHouse Homecoming". Clark Atlanta often annually host homecoming festivities separate from Morehouse and Spelman. Homecomings play a significant role in the cultural identity of the AUC and annually attracts thousands of alumni, students, and visitors.
Two denominational campus ministry centers have been established to serve the students of the Atlanta University Center. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta operates the Lyke House Catholic Student Center, and the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta operates the Absalom Jones Episcopal Student Center and Chapel. Each of these campus ministry facilities are named after notable Black American clerics.
- "AUC Consortium Inc.: History". Atlanta University Center.
- Gordon, Alice (January 7, 2009). "Morris Brown, Historically Black College, Faces Possible Closure". Atlanta Progressive News. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- The Catholic Student Center is named for the late Atlanta Archbishop James P. Lyke (1939-1992); the Episcopal Student Center and Chapel is named after Reverend Absalom Jones (1746–1818), the first Black American priest in the Episcopal Church in the United States.