Clarence D. Armbrister, president of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced that he will step down from his post in June. He has agreed to serve as a senior advisor to the new president until January 2024. Armbrister became the fourteenth president of the historically Black university on January 1, 2018.
“It is a bittersweet moment for me and my family because we love this university and the unparalleled opportunities HBCUs like ours provide for thousands of students across the country each year,” President Armbrister said in a statement to the university community. “Nonetheless, my contract is expiring at the end of this school year and I have decided to take the opportunity, at 66, to start a new chapter in my life, to pursue personal interests, and spend time with family.”
Before coming to Johnson C. Smith University, Armbrister served as president of Girard College, an independent college preparatory school in Philadelphia. Previously, he was senior vice president and chief of staff at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Earlier, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer at Temple University in Philadelphia.
A native of Miami, Armbrister is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in political science and economics. He earned a juris doctorate at the University of Michigan Law School.