Morris College

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Morris College
Motto"Intrare Libris, Dispartire Servire"
Motto in English
"Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve"
TypePrivate, HBCU
Religious affiliation
Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina
Location, ,
United States
Campus33 acres (13.4 ha), 24 buildings
ColorsBlue and gold

Morris College (MC) is a private, Baptist historically black college in Sumter, South Carolina. It was founded and is operated by the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina.[1]


Morris College was founded in 1908 by James J. Durham, initially as a grade school, high school, and college. The college is named after the Reverend Frank Morris because of his outstanding leadership throughout the African American community of South Carolina. The college's first president was Dr. Edward M. Brawley (1908-1912). Morris College awarded its first bachelor's degree in 1915 under the administration of the college's second president Dr. John Jacob Starks. The college's third president was Ira David Pinson, who steered the college to expansion during the Great Depression.[2]

The college's longest-serving president was Dr. Luns C. Richardson, who served from 1974 to July 2017. The current president is Dr. Leroy Staggers, who formerly served as the college's academic dean.


Morris College offers bachelor's degrees in 20 areas of study. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award four different types of bachelor's degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Education.

To effectively accomplish the purpose and philosophy of Morris College, its academic programs are organized into five academic divisions which oversee their respective departments.

Division of General Studies[edit]

  • The Division of General Studies allows students to develop a solid academic foundation before entering their major fields.
  • Honors Program

Division of Business Administration[edit]

  • Business Administration
  • Organizational Management Program

Division of Education[edit]

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Secondary Education

Division of Religion, Humanities and Social Sciences[edit]

  • Mass Communications
  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Christian Education
  • English
  • Liberal Studies
  • English/Secondary Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Social Studies/Secondary Education

Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics[edit]

  • Biology
  • Biology/Secondary Education
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics/Secondary Education

Student life[edit]

Greek letter organizations[edit]

The university currently has chapters for eight of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter symbol
Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority ΑΚΑ Nu Gamma ΝΓ
Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity ΑΦΑ Xi Epsilon ΞΕ
Delta Sigma Theta sorority ΔΣΘ Xi Rho ΞΡ
Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity ΚΑΨ Lambda Epsilon ΛΕ
Omega Psi Phi fraternity ΩΨΦ Epsilon Lambda ΕΛ
Phi Beta Sigma fraternity ΦΒΣ Iota Zeta ΙΖ
Sigma Gamma Rho sorority ΣΓΡ Iota Eta IH
Zeta Phi Beta sorority ΖΦΒ Pi Theta ΠΘ


Morris College teams, nicknamed athletically as the Hornets, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, tennis and track & field; women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Dr. Leroy Bowman 1940 one of the original legendary Tuskegee Airmen of World War II
Laura Hall 1965 politician; Member of the Alabama House of Representatives from the 19th district [3]
Herman Harris 1963 participated in Freedom Rides
James T. McCain Sumter County Council Vice Chairman; civil rights activist; local president of CORE; participated in Freedom Rides
Arthenia J. Bates Millican 1941 educator and award-winning writer, protégée of Langston Hughes
Jerry Moore 1963 participated in Freedom Rides
Mae Francis Moultrie 1961 participated in Freedom Rides
J. David Weeks 1975 politician; Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from the 51st district; serves on the Judiciary Committee and was chair of the Legislative Black Caucus

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina
  2. ^ Vereen-Gordon, Mary; Clayton, Janet S. (1999). Morris College : a noble journey. Virginia Beach, VA: Hallmark Pub. ISBN 0965375986. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Laura Hall, Alabama House of Representatives". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2011-01-30.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°56′18″N 80°20′44″W / 33.9383004°N 80.3456792°W / 33.9383004; -80.3456792