Saint Augustine’s University President Dies Months After Becoming HBCU’s 12th Leader

RALEIGH, N.C. — A historically black college in Durham has announced the death of its president. Just three months after his appointment as Saint Augustine’s University’s 12th president, Dr. Irving McPhail has died, the college announced late Thursday night.

Media reports said the death was a result of COVID-19.

The following is a statement from the Saint Augustine’s University Board of Trustees:

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of the 12th President of Saint Augustine’s University, Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail. President McPhail began his tenure on July 15, 2020. In the short time he was the University’s Chief Executive Officer, he made a memorable and positive impact in moving the University in the direction of being a “Learning Centered” campus. The Saint Augustine’s University community deeply mourns the loss of President McPhail and we wish to extend to his wife, Dr. Christine McPhail; his children Dr. Kamilah McKissick and Mr. Ralph Bessard; family and friends left to cherish his memory our deepest condolences and prayers.

The University will keep all stakeholders informed of the details of public events and university memorial arrangements to honor the life and legacy of President McPhail. These details will be published on the University’s website.

The Board of Trustees will be working internally to determine its next steps and the future direction of the University. Dr. Maria A. Lumpkin will serve as Interim President, effective immediately.

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