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Interim Morehouse College President Bill Taggart Has Died

Atlanta, Ga. – Interim Morehouse College president Bill Taggart has died of an aneurysm, officials announced Thursday (June 8).

Taggart, 55, was named interim president in April.

The college’s board of trustees released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of 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.”

Taggart was appointed after some problems at the college. It hired President John Silvanus Wilson in 2011 to bring change to Morehouse, but released him early this year from his contract. There was a critical report issued by consultants the college hired, which pointed out a poor working relationship between Wilson and some board members. Wilson’s effective firing led to protests by Morehouse men from around the country and a shakeup  on the college’s board.

The college is searching for a new president.

Morehouse alumni association president Howard Willis said he was stunned to learn of Taggart’s death because he jogged daily and seemed to be in good health. Willis, a doctor, said he hoped the college could talk to Taggart at some point about whether he would take the job permanently.

He was instrumental in getting the faculty, staff and students all on the same page,” Willis said. “I was hopeful we would look at him for sustained leadership.”

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said an autopsy will be conducted Thursday to determine how Taggart died, which is standard practice for a sudden death.


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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