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. 

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.