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The Board of Trustees of Saint Augustine’s University has announced the passing of Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, who began his tenure as the 12th President of Saint Augustine’s University on July 15, 2020. According to the board, as chief executive officer, he made a memorable and positive impact in moving the university in the direction of being a ‘Learning-Centered’ campus.

“The Saint Augustine’s University community deeply mourns the loss of President McPhail and we wish to extend to his wife, Dr. Christine McPhail; his children Dr. Kamilah McKissick and Mr. Ralph Bessard; family and friends left to cherish his memory our deepest condolences and prayers,” the In Memoriam statement read.

Dr. McPhail reportedly succumbed to coronavirus-related complications. More than 200,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic.

In a letter via email on Fri, Oct 16, Veronica L. Nelson, the executive director of Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) wrote:

“It is truly with a heavy heart and great sadness that I share with you the passing of NACME’s former President and CEO, Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail. Dr. McPhail was recently named the 12th President of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina.”

“So sorry to hear. We have lost a gentleman, a scholar, and real advocate for everything that related to diversity, and minority student advancement,” replied Eugene M. DeLoatch, Ph.D., Professor and Dean Emeritus, Morgan State University.

Below are snapshots of a 2014 US Black Engineer magazine feature on Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail. The interview for ‘NACME Celebrates itself at 40’ was conducted during his tenure as president and CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. Click here to read online.


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