Interim President for Morehouse College, William Taggart, has died of an aneurysm, Essence.com has reported. According to media reports, he was 55.
In a statement released to media outlets, including Essence and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Morehouse’s College Board of Trustees confirmed Taggart’s death:
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Interim President William J. ‘Bill’ Taggart, a beloved colleague, father and friend. For the past two years, Bill devoted himself wholeheartedly to Morehouse College. We are eternally grateful for his loyal support, counsel, and the leadership he provided to students, faculty, and alumni. Throughout his tenure, Bill had a positive impact on Morehouse College and the Greater Atlanta business community. He leaves behind a long legacy of compassion, integrity, and devotion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time,” the statement read.
Morehouse, an all-male historically black college in Atlanta, had ousted Taggart’s predecessor, John Silvanus Wilson, in March. Taggart joined the school in 2015 as chief operating officer, according to CBS46, and had served previously as Morehouse’s executive in residence. He was named interim president in April.
Taggart had more than 30 years of experience working in higher education and the federal government, according to his LinkedIn page, Essence.com reports. He was a Howard University alum and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Taggart was also a former president and CEO of Atlanta Life Financial Co., the only African American-owned, privately held stock company in the U.S.
Prior to joining Atlanta Life, According to the Saporta Report, Taggart had “served as chief operating officer for the Office of Federal Student Aid, where he increased federal aid from $96 billion to $150 billion annually – affecting 15 million college students. Taggart also led the agency through a transformation that resulted in a cost savings of $68 billion over 10 years.”