RALEIGH — Willie Gary, the Florida multimillionaire lawyer, is no longer chairman of the Board of Trustees at Shaw University.
The university announced Wednesday that the board had elected a new chairman – Joseph Bell of Savannah, Ga. He is a Shaw alumnus and banker who had served as the board’s vice chairman.
Gary will remain on the board, the university said, having been re-elected to another two-year term.
The longtime chairman grabbed headlines in 1991 with a $10 million pledge to Shaw, but acknowledged in a 2010 interview that he had not kept up with payments on the planned donation. The university’s student center is named for Gary.
In 2010, Shaw’s national alumni group called for the university’s trustees to step down in a letter to Gary.
Shaw, the South’s oldest historically black college, has seen several years of turmoil, including leadership changes, financial hardship and an accreditation review.
Last spring, the university suffered trauma when a tornado ripped through the campus, damaging virtually every building and shutting the school down for the remainder of the semester. The university worked to repair the damage and reopened last fall.
The university also saw triumph this year when the Lady Bears women’s basketball team won the Division II national championship.