Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin

RALEIGH, NC – The Board of Trustees at Saint Augustine’s University has announced the appointment of Dr. Maria Arvelo Lumpkin to the role of Interim President. The appointment is effective immediately.

According to the Board of Trustees Chairman The Honorable Chief Justice James C. Perry, “The Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) Board of Trustees is pleased to report that Dr. Maria A. Lumpkin has been named the Interim President of Saint Augustine’s University.” He added that “Dr. Lumpkin is the youngest person to lead the university in its 153 year history. In her previous role as Chief Operating Officer for the University, Dr. Lumpkin has already proven to be a transformational leader. One of her most notable accomplishments is leading the team that procured a $3.5 million dollar Emergency Assistance grant from the United States Department of Education. Throughout her career, Dr. Lumpkin has brought a student-centered approach to her work and the institutions she has served. Dr. Lumpkin’s experience and credentials are extensive. She received her bachelor’s degree, cum laude from Saint Augustine’s College, now University, in 1996; a Master of Urban Studies degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from Clark Atlanta University. She hold certification as a Case Teaching instructor by the Institute for Case Teaching at the Harvard University School of Divinity. Her decisive leadership style and genuine care for the University make her an ideal choice to continue the legacy.”

Dr. Lumpkin brings to the university over 20 years of higher education experience as a student-centered professional and administrator. Her professional background includes serving in progressive leadership roles in two of the largest university systems in the nation – the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). She also worked in the Atlanta University Center (AUC), the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) consortium in the country. Most recently she served as the special assistant to the president, and as the inaugural executive director of student retention and the center for scholar communities at Shippensburg University. She has also provided outstanding leadership as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Assistant Dean of Students at North Carolina Central University, Assistant Dean of Students at Spelman College. She has also worked in key leadership positions at Albany State University, and as Director of Student Involvement and co-director of the Global Civic Engagement Program at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Community Engagement and Director of the Mercer University Center for Community Development and Service Learning.

A professional grant writer, she established the President’s Task Force on Civic Engagement and procured over $5 million dollars in private grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, CocaCola, Target Foundation, Perkins Ponder Foundation, and the Federal Home Loan Bank to pilot and support several University-community partnership programs and catalyze major community development at Mercer University; and she has authored over $10 million dollars in Federal Grants, including TRIO (Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, AmeriCorps, National Service, and HOPE IV).

Dr. Lumpkin has been active on the Bibb County Workforce Investment Board, Goodwill Industries of Central Georgia Good Vocations Board, the Food Bank of Middle Georgia, and the international board of Africa’s Children’s Fund, the Atlanta Metropolitan State College Foundation, and the Clark Atlanta University Guild. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, The Links, Incorporated, and is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Macon (GA), a 2006 graduate Leadership Georgia and a 2015 graduate of Leadership Women America.

Dr. Lumpkin said of her appointment, “I am beyond thrilled to lead the “Falcon Nation” during this exciting period of growth in the life of the university. My appointment is especially meaningful to me, because I am a daughter of this great institution, and I know first-hand the transformational impact Saint Augustine’s education. I am supported by a treasure trove of dynamic faculty, staff, students, and Board of Trustees in co-creating a dynamic learning environment.”

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Lumpkin’s dissertation research project was entitled Is There Learning In Service Learning? An Examination of the Effectiveness of Service Learning Programs at HBCUs as Perceived by Undergraduate Students. A seasoned world traveler, Dr. Lumpkin has traveled to every continent, except Antarctica for humanitarian and educational purposes. She has used her personal experience in the international diaspora to inspire and fund over 500 students education abroad opportunities. The University is proud to have Dr. Lumpkin return to her alma mater and continue her service in this history making leadership role as the youngest interim President and the only female alumna to serve in this position.

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About saint Augustine’s University

Founded in 1867 by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, the mission of Saint Augustine;s University is to sustain a learning community in which students can prepare academically, socially and spiritually for leadership in a complex, diverse and rapidly changing world. For more information, visit www.st-aug.edu.