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

33°56′18″N 80°20′45″W / 33.9383°N 80.3457°W / 33.9383; -80.3457
Campus33 acres (13.4 ha), 24 buildings
ColorsBlue & Gold
Sporting affiliations

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 Jacob 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

Division of Business Administration

Division of Education

Division of Religion, Humanities and Social Sciences

Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Student life

Greek letter organizations

Morris College currently has chapters for eight of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.


The Morris athletics teams are called the Hornets. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an independent within the Continental Athletic Conference since the 2005–06 academic year. The Hornets previously competed in the defunct Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (EIAC) from 1983–84 to 2004–05 (when the conference dissolved).

Morris competes in six intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, softball and volleyball.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Dr. Leroy Bowman 1940 One of the original Tuskegee Airmen [3]
Laura Hall 1965 Politician; member of the Alabama House of Representatives from the 19th district [4]
Herman Harris 1963 Participant in the Freedom Rides [5]
James T. McCain Sumter County Council Vice Chairman; civil rights activist; local president of CORE; participated in Freedom Rides [6]
Arthenia J. Bates Millican 1941 Educator and author, protégée of Langston Hughes [7]
Jerry Moore 1963 Participant in the Freedom Rides [5]
Mae Francis Moultrie 1961 Participant in the Freedom Rides [5]
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 [8]
Stephen Middleton 1976 Scholar/Historian, Professor Emeritus, Mississippi State University; graduate of the Ohio State University (M.A., 1977) and Miami University of Ohio (Ph.D. in History, 1987) [9]
James Solomon Jr. ? Civil Rights Activist/Mathematics Scholar; Professor Emeritus, Morris College; one of three African American students to integrate the University of South Carolina in 1963. [10]

See also


  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. ^ "Dr. Leroy Bowman". The Item. February 28, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  4. ^ "Laura Hall, Alabama House of Representatives". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  5. ^ a b c Arsenault, Raymond. Freedom Riders (PDF). pp. 534–587. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  6. ^ Walker, Donna Isbell (February 28, 2015). "James T. McCain fought for racial equality". The Greenville News. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  7. ^ "Literary Landmark: Arthenia J. Bates Millican Home". United For Libraries. American Library Association. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  8. ^ "Representative J. David Weeks". South Carolina House of Representatives. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Dr. Stephen Middleton". Mississippi State University. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  10. ^ "Prof. James Solomon Jr". University of South Carolina. Retrieved August 2, 2021.