A new president has been appointed to lead Atlanta’s historic Morehouse College following the sudden death of interim president William “Bill” Taggart.

Harold Martin Jr., an alumni of the prestigious men’s college, was chosen by the Morehouse College Board of Trustees to return to his beloved alma mater as its interim leader.

Harold Martin Jr, New Interim President at Morehouse College. (Courtesy Photo)

“Harold will be a stabilizing force and will continue to move Morehouse forward as we finalize our search for a permanent president,” Willie Woods, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Harold to deliver on our promise of putting the college and its students first, and working toward delivering the highest levels of academic excellence.”

Martin graduated from Morehouse as the valedictorian of his 2002 class with a B.A. in Business Administration. He went on to earn an MBA from Harvard University and a J.D. at Yale Law School.

In his new position, Martin will be responsible for leading the faculty, staff, and 2,100 students of Morehouse, which was founded in 1862 as the Augusta Institute. 

“While these circumstances are certainly unprecedented, I am honored to step into the role of interim president of Morehouse College,” Martin said in a statement. “Over the past few months, the College has made great strides under the leadership of Bill Taggart; it’s amazing how much he was able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.”

Martin said that he worked closely with Taggart and fully supported his goals for the college.

“I will continue to execute on this plan in the days and weeks ahead and look forward to working with Morehouse’s Board, students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and donors to solidify Morehouse’s position as an academic leader during this pivotal time in our College’s history.” 

Meanwhile, the search for a permanent president for the college continues.

“The Morehouse College Search Committee has received many inquiries regarding the permanent president’s position and is working diligently to identify a candidate as the process moves forward,” Dale Jones, chairman of the Board of Trustees’ Search Committee, said in a statement.