According to a statement released by The Morehouse College Board of Trustees, Interim President William J. "Bill" Taggart has passed away.
"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."
Taggart only recently became interim president in April of this year. Before that, Taggart had served as the college's chief operating officer since 2015, according to the college.
Outside of Morehouse College, Interim President Taggart was actively involved in various business and civic organizations. He served as CEO of Atlanta Life Financial Group and was a key member of 100 Black Men of America, as well as the Rotary Club of Atlanta. He also served as chairman of the Atlanta Business League, and was a board member of The Carter Center, Woodruff Arts Center, Westside Future Fund, Carver Bank, and Children Healthcare of Atlanta. He was recently named to the 2018 Class of Leadership Atlanta.
No information of funeral arrangements have been shared at this time.
Public figures have began expressing their condolences.
City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms called him an "incredible leader and even better father and friend."
"An Atlanta native, Howard University graduate, and accomplished professional, President Taggart's willingness to lead during the most challenging times has been greatly admired and appreciated. May we forever honor his life and memory by leading and working together unselfishly in humility and strength."
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said extended his prayers to Taggart's family and called him a "civic leader dedicated to our city."
"He has served Morehouse College with distinction for the past two years, providing steady leadership for one of the nation’s best HBCUs and one of the most important educational institutions in the City of Atlanta."