The Morris Brown Science Center currently houses the Student Commons and College Counseling office as well as science classrooms and labs. However, the building was originally used as a fine arts and student center.
This building was the fruition of several years of dreaming, praying, and planning on behalf of Rabun Gap President Dr. Karl Anderson and trustees. The idea for the building started in 1978. Over the course of the next six years, the School was able to design and fully fund the $850,000 project through the fundraising of pledges and gifts before construction began.
Groundbreaking on the building was held on May 4, 1984. The proposed plan for the building included a school store, a gathering place for students, a visual arts room, and adequate spaces to develop musical skills. Construction began in the early summer of 1984 and was completed in early 1985. The student center space on the bottom floor contained a kitchen, dining room, game room. Soon after construction was completed, the need for up-to-date science facilities arose and the bottom floor of the building was converted from a student center to science classrooms and labs.
“Many people working together and many prayers made this a possibility. Hundreds of students in years ahead will have opportunities that would otherwise not be theirs,” said Dr. Anderson during the groundbreaking. “Breaking ground on this building is symbolic of a beginning that will move us forward another step in making a good school an even better one. We praise the Lord for all we have experienced!”
The building was dedicated to Morris Brown ‘37 on graduation day, May 24, 1986, in honor of his more than 40 years of service to the School. During his tenure at Rabun Gap, he served as a teacher, coach, houseparent, principal, and as Headmaster - a role he held for eight years.
Brown joined the faculty in the fall of 1945 while waiting on his discharge from the Army and his service in World War II. What started out as a trial to see what he thought of teaching turned into a dedicated career in education that lasted for more than four decades. He was known for the positive influence he had on the lives of the students and faculty who had the honor of interacting with him. He ended his time at Rabun Gap as Headmaster at the end of the 1985-1986 school year. Brown was also awarded the first alumni award in 1973 and was inducted into the Rabun Gap Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
“Since the fall of 1945, Morris Brown has served God through his service to young people, his church, and other churches of the community. It would take too long to list all of his outstanding personal characteristics, such as his friendliness, faithfulness, and dedication,” said Dr. Anderson at the dedication. “It is proper that this building, erected to give an outlet to the creative talents of students and to provide a great place for student recreation, is to be named the Morris Brown Fine Arts/Student Center.”