Saint Augustine’s University President Dies From COVID-19
The president of Saint Augustine’s University, Irving McPhail, died last week due to COVID-19 complications. McPhail leaves behind his wife, Christine Johnson McPhail, his daughter and son, and five grandsons.
Several weeks ago, McPhail went into quarantine after discovering that he had been in close proximity with someone who tested positive. Around 10 days ago, McPhail himself tested positive.
While he did not exhibit any symptoms in the first few days, 71-year-old McPhail later reported having headaches and a fever. He was quickly hospitalized and placed on a ventilator. He died around two weeks after contracting the virus.
The SAU community marched silently this morning to lay flowers on the porch of the President’s residence in honor of Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail’s service to SAU.
— Saint Augustine's (@SAU_News) October 16, 2020
McPhail is one of the most prominent higher education leaders to have fallen victim to the virus. Faculty members, staff members, and students of Saint Augustine’s walked by the president’s residence to pay their respects.
McPhail’s family has asked that donations be made to their endowed scholarship fund in lieu of flowers.
McPhail has had a long and decorated history as an educator across several institutions.
He arrived in Saint Augustine last July as the university’s 12th president. He was previously the founding chancellor of the Community College of Baltimore County, and is the founder and chief strategy officer at a higher education consulting practice, McPhail Group LLC.
Prior to this, he served as president at St Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and president at the Lemoyne-Owen College. In 2005, he was also the secretary of the board of the American Council on Education.
The university will publish details of public events and university memorial arrangements on its website.