Closed By Bankruptcy Judge
DALLAS (AP) _ A federal bankruptcy judge ordered 108-year-old Bishop College closed after it failed to come up with the $1.85 million needed to cover its 1988-89 deficit.
Judge Robert C. McGuire on Monday ordered Bishop’s 16-month-old reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code coverted to Chapter 7, involuntary bankruptcy.
School officials agreed, but reserved the right to move the case back to Chapter 11 if $2 million could be raised quickly.
Despite frantic fund-raising efforts during the past year, including T- shirt sales outside the federal courthouse Monday afternoon, officials of the predominantly black school failed to get the funds McGuire said was needed by the hearing.
Bishop’s attorney, Glover Roberts, said the school’s best hope was financial and administrative support of local business leaders.
″I think there are some discussions going on along those lines,″ Roberts said, but added he didn’t know who, if anyone, would come forward with the money.
″You have an institution that has a particular kind of heritage and that has done a particular kind of job in preparing for participation in the culture that has been lost,″ said Rev. William Shaw, chairman of Bishop’s board of trustees.
Bishop, with academic specialties in religion and education, was the only predominantly black school in Dallas.
″I think there is a real need for Bishop College in the Dallas area,″ Mayor Annette Strauss said. ″I hope it can be reorganized at a later time. It’s a good school. It serves a good purpose.″
Security guards Monday evening turned away visitors to the school’s unmowed, boarded-up campus.
George McElreath, the federal bankruptcy trustee overseeing the case, said attorneys told him this weekend that donations had increased to about $7,000 per day during the past few weeks, ″but that’s not enough.″
After the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked the college’s accreditation because of the financial difficulties, Bishop officials filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 1987. Bishop had since tried to pay off an estimated $18 million in debts.
The college was founded in Marshall in 1881 and moved to Dallas in 1961. It has been troubled by financial problems and declining enrollment for a decade.
Enrollment peaked at 1,500 in 1967 and dropped to about 300 students last spring.
″It’s a sad day,″ Bishop senior Wayne E. Croomes said. ″I was hoping something positive would come out of it. It’s time for me to move on, go to another school.″