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In 1867, Augusta Institute, the forerunner of Morehouse College, was established in the basement of Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta, GA to prepare black men for the ministry and teaching. Springfield Baptist Church, founded in 1787, is the oldest independent African-American church in the United States. Upon moving to Atlanta in 1879, the institution's name was changed to Atlanta Baptist Seminary, and by 1913 the name Morehouse College was adopted. The college was temporarily located in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church until four acres were purchased for its campus site at the junction of Elliot and West Hunter Streets. In April 1888, the third and present campus site, 14 acres at the intersection of Fair Street and Ashby Street (now Lowery Street), was acquired. It was a former Civil War battle site, part of the siege of Atlanta in 1864.
Today, Morehouse enjoys an international reputation for producing leaders who have influenced national and world history. Offering 26 majors in three divisions and a dual-degree program in engineering with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the College provides a number of programs and activities that enhance its challenging liberal arts curriculum, including the Leadership Center at Morehouse College, the Morehouse Research Institute, and the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs.
Morehouse College is a founding member of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) District, the proximity and development of six schools of higher education that has offered educational opportunities to African-Americans across the country for more than one hundred years. In 1929, Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Clark College, and Morris Brown College combined to form a coalition to promote efficiency and economy through the joint operation of administrative, academic, and cultural programs. The member schools now consist of Clark-Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, the Interdenominational Theological Seminary, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. The AUC District was placed on the National Register in November 1973.