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Many private colleges and universities faced hard times during the weak economy, but one local institution’s post-recession financial turnaround is no small victory.

The newly and aptly renamed Victory University, formerly Crichton College, rose from the ashes with a new business model and new leadership. Administrators said transition is nothing new to the school.

“When we were going into closing mode, I had to hold a college fair in the gymnasium with 25 schools represented because we couldn’t leave our students hanging,” said Dr. Darryl Tukufu, vice president for external affairs and chief diversity officer at the university.

“We lost a lot of students then. But we got students back. We’re still in the 700s.”

In fact, Tukufu said that with about 450 students, the school was about to start its largest summer session ever. Fall and spring semesters typically have about 700 students.

On Thursday, June 23, Tukufu and his staff celebrated the hiring of Dr. Shirley Robinson Pippins as president and CEO of the university. Pippins will start Aug. 1, succeeding Dr. John Borek, who was hired in 2009 to lead the school out of financial failure.

The school, originally known as Mid-South Bible Center, was established in 1944 as a three-year Bible school. In 1955, Dr. James B. Crichton, now deceased, was elected to lead the school and added a non-credit adult-education program.

During the 1980s the school established accredited education, psychology and business programs. The school was renamed Crichton College in 1987. (more)

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Article by JONATHAN DEVIN, The Daily News | Read full article here