LeMoyne-Owen keeps accreditation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

LeMoyne-Owen keeps accreditation

The once financially struggling LeMoyne-Owen College is making big strides.

After a long uphill battle, officials announced Tuesday the school is now is in the black by the sum of $2.3 million.

College President Johnnie B. Watson made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.
"I'm proud to announce that LeMoyne-Owen College has been reaffirmed as a school in good standing," Watson said, adding the school intends to stay above water.

After years of financial troubles, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recently re-issued the school's accreditation.

LeMoyne-Owen ended its last school year $1.5-million in the red.  Soon after, in June, the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and state and private donors gave the college more than $4 million.    

Robert Lipscomb, the chairman of the college's board, and current Director of Memphis City Housing and Community Development, was emotional at Tuesday's announcement.  Lipscomb said a scholarship to LeMoyne-Owen was his only option in life, and he's honored to have helped raise the funds to keep it open.

"Over the past year many have wondered if LeMoyne-Owen would close its doors.  The answer is a resounding and emphatic no," he said.

Not everyone was happy about the bailout.  A private citizen failed in an attempt to sue the school to prevent the government from donating tax dollars to it.

To stay out of the red, the college will work to increase student enrollment, lower tuition by streamlining operation costs, and to spend more time pursuing grants.

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