Brief History of AME University

The African Methodist Episcopal university (AMEU) was founded in 1995 under the leadership of Bishop C. Garnett Henning, Sr., 112th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) and the 26th Bishop of the 14th Episcopal District in actualization of the dream of the Rt. Rev. William Sampson Brooks’ plan to transform Monrovia College and Industrial Training School into a four year degree-granting institution.

In early 1993, with the expressed desire of Bishop Garnett Henning, the Monrovia College Board of Trustees approved a recommendation from the Monrovia College administration to develop a four year degree college in keeping with the college’s original charter of 1928; and the recommendation was later endorsed by the Board of Directors of the Liberia Annual Conference at the District Planning Meeting held in Accra, Ghana in November 1993. On March 28, 1994, Bishop Garnett Henning appointed an interim administration of the AME Church University, and charged the Team with developing the necessary framework for opening the University.

In May 1995, Dr. Louise C. York, who had served Monrovia College and Industrial Training School for thirty-four unbroken years, with twenty-one years as president, was named the first President of the African Methodist Episcopal University, and subsequently inaugurated on June 6, 1995.

With three (3) colleges identified for the University’s academic programming, AMEU was slated to open in April 1996; however, Liberia was embroiled in a devastating civil war, so, classes were temporarily suspended. In its second year, the university had 953 students; and by academic year 1999-2000, the student population was over 1,000.

Dr. York hooded the first graduates from the Bryant Theological Seminary on March 17, 1999. Dr. York retired in July 2004; and on September 30, 2004 Hon. Edward Forh was named Acting President for the purpose of the Commencement Convocation.

From November 1, 2004, to December 31, 2006, Dr. Levi B. Zangai served as the second President of AMEU. AMEU became a founding member of the Association of Liberian Universities in 2006. After Dr. Zangai resigned in December 2006, an Interim Management Team was appointed in January 2007. Honorable Josephine George Francis served as chairperson of the Team; and Dr. D. Musuleng Cooper was named Acting President of AMEU in April 2007, she served for five months while the search for a new President was conducted.

The search for a President concluded successfully in August 2007 when Dr. Jean Bell Manning was appointed the third President of AME University on September 1, 2007.

During Dr. Manning’s administration, September 2007 - June 2013, the university underwent several face lifts. The Student Center, which has a seating capacity of 120, was completed; the Hatcher-Henning-Norris Human Resources Center became the academic hub, and the ground floor of Hatcher Hall was transformed to a study hall with a capacity of 150. The Bryant-Adams-Manning Library was completed in 2010; and dedicated during the twelfth Commencement Convocation week of activities in November 2011; at a point when the University’s enrollment had increased to 3,018 students.

In 2012, Dr. Manning announced her desire to retire to the Board of Trustees. Also in 2012, at the 49th General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church held in July, in Nashville, Tennessee; Rev. Clement W. Fugh, Chief Information Officer and Secretary of the AME Church was elected and consecrated as the Church’s 131st Bishop.

He was assigned to the 14th Episcopal District and became the District’s 30th Presiding Prelate and concomitantly became the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of AME University. Bishop Fugh gave immediate attention to the search for the 4th President of AMEU, which commenced in December 2012 and was concluded successfully in April 2013 with the appointment of Dr. Joseph T. Isaac as the University’s 4th President. Dr. Isaac’s official tenure commenced on July 1, 2013. Under Dr. Isaac’s leadership, AME University is continuously rebranding its activities that have resulted to tremendous growth and expansion.

Between 2013 and 2017, the University enrollment increased from approximately 1,700 to 4,636 students in the first semester of academic year 2017-2018. The University has also increased its academic offering by adding two new colleges (Education and Science), and academic support services have been expanded with the addition of a Test Center, the Institute for Innovation, an annual Vacation Bridge Program, Enrollment Management Department, a Jazz Band, the AMEU Anyenkon Performing Arts Company, among others.

In October 2017, AME University launched its graduate school with three programs: Master of Divinity; and Executive MBAs in Corporate and Public Finance, and Procurement and Supply Chain Management. Construction for the University’s new graduate school building is scheduled to be completed by September 2018.

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