Raleigh, N.C. (April 23, 2014) – The Board of Trustees has chosen Everett B. Ward as interim president of St. Augustine’s University, board chairman Rodney Gaddy announced today. In choosing Ward, Gaddy noted that the board had chosen someone who was not only a “recognized leader on national, state and local levels” but a “son of St. Augustine’s University” as well.
Ward is a St. Augustine’s University alumni – class of 1982 – and previously has served as chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees. His other qualifications include co-chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s Credentials Committee, vice chairman of the Democratic National Black Caucus and the first African-Am4erican executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party.
“The Board of Trustees is excited about this appointment and we unanimously agreed that he is the right leader for this role at this time,” Gaddy said. Ward, Gaddy said, displays a “collaborative yet decisive leadership style that wills serve this institution well.
Ward will serve as interim president for 12-18 months while the board conducts a national search, Gaddy said.
In his acceptance speech, Ward noted that he was born on the campus of St. Augustine’s University – at St. Agnes Hospital – and said the university “has been and will always be an integral part of my life.” He listed three priorities: Strengthening Saint Augustine’s financial position; strengthening the faith of students, alumni, faculty and staff; and have in their employer; and trengthening the faith of the community and business partners.
The text of Dr. Ward’s statement is below:
Message From Dr. Ward
April 23, 2014
I am honored to accept the responsibility to serve as Interim President of Saint Augustine’s University. For me, to serve Saint Augustine’s is an act of love and a defined purpose. Saint Augustine’s University, my beloved alma mater, has literally been a major part of my life from birth. On November 6, 1958, I was born on the campus at Saint Agnes Hospital.
From then until now, the university has been and will always be an integral part of my life. Having benefitted from the mentorship of Dr. James A. Boyer, our 7th President, and the continued guidance of Dr. Prezell R. Robinson, our 8th President, my appointment as interim president is especially rewarding. Their legacy of commitment to Saint Augustine’s serves as my leadership compass.
In the days ahead, I ask you to join the Saint Augustine’s family in addressing the financial challenges currently confronting our university. With your assistance and with the support of our community and our business partners, Saint Augustine’s will once again be viewed as a premier institution of higher learning.
My vision for Saint Augustine’s University is that at the end of my tenure as the Interim President, we will have accomplished the following 3 things:
(1) Strengthened Saint Augustine’s financial position;
(2) Strengthened the faith that our students have in Saint Augustine’s; strengthened the faith that our alumni have in their alma mater; strengthened the faith that our faculty and staff have in their employer; and
(3) Strengthened the faith that our community and our business partners have in the fact that Saint Augustine’s is an institution of higher learning worthy of their time, talent and investment dollars.
Please join me in the Renaissance of Saint Augustine’s University. Always know that the Office of the Interim President is open to you and your recommendations are encouraged and welcomed.
In the interest of Saint Augustine’s University, I remain.