Irma McLaurin is the school's 15th president since 1865. Shaw is the South's first historically black college.
Dorothy Yancy has served as interim president for over a year. She is the former president of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte.
McClaurin will replace Yancy, who was appointed to the position in June 2009.
Yancy took Newsome's place while he took a one-year sabbatical from his post as president. He did not resume his position at the completion of his sabbatical, which was a shock to faculty, staff and students. Newsome did not say why he was not returning.
McClaurin previously served as the associate vice president for system academic administration at the University of Minnesota and executive director of the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center in Minneapolis.
According to the University of Minnesota website, McClaurin is an avid writer and has published three books of poetry. Her poems have appeared in over 16 magazines and anthologies.
She holds a BA in American studies from Grinnell College in Iowa and has advanced degrees in English and anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
For more about McClaurin and her professional background, click here.