Students: Morris College is "the beacon" of the Sumter community

Students: Morris College is "the beacon" of the Sumter community

For more than 100 years, Morris College has been providing education for Sumter community and surrounding areas.

Morris College has earned many accolades. It's the only four-year college in the Sumter area and the only historically black college and university in the area. Plus the president is the longest serving HBCU president in the state.

The students have a lot to be proud of.

"I am so elated that I can walk the grounds of Morris College," student Patrick Outler said. "Morris College is the beacon to me of the Sumter community."

Describing it as a place of possibility, Outler says attending Morris College was an easy decision.

"I transferred from Clayton State in Atlanta, and I came here to seek the Call Me Mister program and the religious program," Outler said.

Founded on Christian principals, the Historical Black College was established in 1908. In its beginning, the school operated as a junior college and eventually became a 4-year institution in 1933. Forty-five years later Morris received full accreditation under the leadership of Dr. Luns C. Richardson.

"I had to travel all over the state," Richardson said. "Attend meetings and various activities raising for monies. People had to do a lot of work it wasn't just me by myself."

Richardson has been president at Morris since 1974. At 88 years old, he's the longest serving HBCU president in the state.

"I just fell in love with Morris College and the things we have done kept me occupied," Richardson said. "I didn't think about going any place else."

Living by the school's motto "Enter To Serve, Depart To Learn," Richardson says its the success of the students that keeps the college thriving.

"Students can come kind of short in academic abilities, but by the time they stay here a year or two they blossom," Richardson said. "More and more of them are falling in love with Morris College."

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