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Morehouse Board of Trustees Announces Board Reform and Leadership Updates

ATLANTA, April 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Morehouse College Board of Trustees unanimously voted today to implement several leadership changes and reforms at the board and executive levels. The actions, which were taken based on recent feedback from the Morehouse community, will add a new structure to the Board that will help shape a brighter future for Morehouse College. The Board has voted to take the following actions, which were also discussed in a meeting with students and faculty that took place today:

  • Immediate Appointment of Bill Taggart as Interim President: Effective immediately, John Wilson will step down as President of Morehouse College and William (Bill) Taggart will assume the role of Interim President. Bill, who has been the Chief Operating Officer of Morehouse since 2015, steps into his new role today and will assume day-to-day leadership responsibilities for the College until a new President is identified and hired.
  • Installation of New Board Officers effective immediately: Effective today, Chairman Robert Davidson steps down as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Willie Woods is appointed new Board Chair. Other new Board officer appointments include John Thorton as Vice Chair, Richard Thaler as Treasurer, Harold Martin as Secretary and Dr. Dorothy Yancy as Assistant Secretary.

"It is an honor and privilege to be named Chairman of the Board of Trustees. I want to emphasize that the decisions made today were out of love for the College and with a focus on turning the page towards better positioning the institution for future success," said Willie Woods, Chairman, Morehouse College Board of Trustees. "I would also like to thank Bob Davidson for his contributions as Chairman over the past six years, and John Wilson for his more than four years of service as President of Morehouse College. I wish them both continued success."

"I am honored to assume the role of Interim President," said Bill Taggart, Interim President, Morehouse College. "This is a seminal time in Morehouse's history as we honor the College's 150th year as a premier educational institution. As an Atlanta native, I look forward to working with the entire Morehouse Community, including the Board, students, faculty, alumni and donors, to continue on our path of success and build upon Morehouse's strong foundation and reputation of academic excellence."

"Having fully participated in today's Board Meeting, we are extremely happy with today's outcome, furthering our discussions of shared governance," said Johnathan Hill, President of the Morehouse College Student Government Association. "With this new chapter, the Board is keeping both institutional priorities and student centricity at the forefront. I appreciate the collaborative culture of this new leadership, and know that we will as stakeholders continue to hold one another accountable. It's going to take a team effort to place Morehouse back in a position of strength, and what I witnessed today has been just that."

"The Ray Charles Foundation would like to thank all the members of the Board of Trustees of Morehouse college for their diligent efforts in ensuring that Morehouse College is led with integrity and follows the traditions with which its great reputation has been built since 1867," said Valerie Erwin, President of the Ray Charles Foundation. "In light of the recent turn of events, The Ray Charles Foundation is pleased to effectuate its pledge of $1 million to the College forthwith and will stand by Morehouse College through this transition."

Ranked America's fifth "Most Entrepreneurial College" by Forbes Magazine in 2015, Morehouse College is the nation's largest liberal arts college for men. Founded in 1867, the College enrolls approximately 2,100 students and historically has conferred more bachelor's degrees on black men than any other institution in the world. Morehouse College has produced more Rhodes Scholars than any other HBCU. Prominent alumni include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Dr. David Satcher, a former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton "Spike" Lee, American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Ga.; and Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of Homeland Security.

 

Media Contacts: Michele Mendelson 
                           Kwittken 
                           646-747-7163 (direct) 
                           morehouse@kwittken.com 

                           Cathy Tyler, Morehouse College 
                           Executive Director of Strategic Communications 
                           470-639-0543 (direct) 
                           404-790-8918 (cell) 
                           Cathy.Tyler@morehouse.edu

 

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