On behalf of the NAFEO Nation–the 106 HBCUs, roughly 80 PBIs, 700,000 students, 70,000 faculty, and 7 million alumni–I extend deep and heartfelt condolences to the family of William “Bill” Taggart and to the Morehouse Family on the passing of Interim President Bill Taggart–a mighty man of God, a quintessential professional, and magnificent colleague. As chief operating officer for the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) in the United States Department of Education, and a senior advisor to Departmental leadership, Bill led the agency through turbulent times with excellence, wisdom, foresight, a depth of knowledge, understanding, and discernment. As Bill led FSA through the Parent Plus Loan debacle, and through tough discussions with HBCU leadership about the decline in federal agency dollars to HBCUs, the loss of Year-Round Pell Grant funding, and other matters, Bill proved to be a man of highest integrity, a thoughtful, honest broker, with uncanny instincts for people and politics. His righteousness and transparency, his fair and forthright spirit, robust conscience, humility and confidence, his respect for others with diverse and sometimes divergent views, were responsible in no small measure for moving the Department forward on the referenced and other matters essential for strong HBCUs and a strong America.
As I mourn the loss of “Brother Taggart,” I am hopeful because of the seeds Bill planted while in this garden. I am a better person having worked with and received wise counsel from Bill Taggart. Bill Taggart lifted me. He lifted the HBCU community. He lifted Morehouse College and hundreds of thousands of others who are the beneficiaries of his selfless service. I’m so glad Bill Taggart stopped by here. Good night sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!