13 Dec 2023

SAU Announces the Appointment of Dr. Marcus H. Burgess to the Role of Interim President

The arrival of new leadership at Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) aims to continue moving forward one of North Carolina’s most prominent historic black colleges/universities (HBCUs) with unwavering vision and confidence. The university’s Board of Trustees announces Dr. Marcus H. Burgess’s appointment to Interim President, effective immediately.  


“We, the SAU Board of Trustees, have selected Dr. Marcus H. Burgess as Interim President of SAU,” said The Honorable Chief Justice James E.C. Perry, Chairman of the SAU Board of Trustees. “At this critical juncture, we believe Dr. Burgess has many resources he brings to SAU. Namely, resources that will assist SAU in its appeal to the recent Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) decision.”  


Dr. Burgess most recently served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Claflin University after holding the position of Associate Vice President for Major and Planned Gifts. Before his return to Claflin in 2019, Burgess served several institutions in a leadership capacity, including York Technical College in Rockhill, SC, as the Executive Director for Campaigns and Strategic Initiatives; Florida Memorial University, Miami Gardens, FL, as the Vice President for University Advancement; and Voorhees College as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement. 


“I am deeply honored to step into the role of Interim President at Saint Augustine’s University and am committed to advancing its mission of excellence in education,” said Dr. Burgess. “I am committed to ushering in a new era of stability and growth for the university, ensuring its continued accreditation and fostering a culture of transparency and collaboration. I stand with the dedicated faculty, staff, and students as we navigate these challenges and build a promising future for SAU.”  


During his first stint at Claflin, Dr. Burgess was the former director of alumni affairs and annual fund at Claflin University, where he achieved an alumni giving percentage of over 45 percent, pushing them towards a goal of 50 percent, and a former K-12 public school administrator. 


Burgess is a native of Cades, South Carolina. He is a 1996 graduate of Claflin University, where he earned a BS in Elementary Education, a 2000 Graduate of The Citadel, earning an MS in Education Administration and Supervision, and a 2020 graduate of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody School of Education, earning a Doctorate of Education in Learning and Leadership in Organizations. 


He is married to Leandra Hayes-Burgess, Vice President for Institutional Advancement for Benedict College. They have three children: Marcus (Deuce), Mariana, and Tyler.