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St. Augustine’s University president announces retirement

Dr. Everett Ward, president of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, on April 23, 2014.
Dr. Everett Ward, president of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, on April 23, 2014. News & Observer file photo

Everett Ward, who has led St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh since 2014, announced Thursday that he will retire this summer.

“It’s now time for the Saint Augustine’s Renaissance to continue with a new chapter,” Ward told the school’s board of trustees, according to a news release. “I’m extremely grateful for the commitment exemplified by our students, staff, faculty and alumni. Together, along with friends of the university, we conquered significant challenges with our eyes on the prize.”

Ward is the 11th president of the historically black college in downtown Raleigh.

St. Augustine’s future was unclear until last month, when its accreditation agency removed the university from probation after two years. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges had cited financial problems and questions of institutional effectiveness.

The university could have been forced to close if the probation status was not removed.

Amid financial woes, St. Augustine’s made several budget cuts in recent years, including laying off employees.

In a news release Thursday, the university said donor support increased under Ward’s leadership, from $1 million in 2014 to $2.9 million in 2018.

Ward, a Raleigh native and the third St. Aug’s alumnus to serve as the school’s president, said he will retire July 24.

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