Walter Kimbrough

Walter Kimbrough

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough is the president in residence for the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the former president of Dillard University and Philander Smith College (now Philander Smith University). Under his leadership, Dillard’s endowment grew 115% and alumni giving increased from 4% to 23%. Dillard also recorded its largest alumni gift, its largest single private donation, a $5 million gift from MacKenzie Scott, and a $5 million gift from Kirkland & Ellis for the university’s Center for Racial Justice. Dillard was also noted as one of the nation’s top producers of Black physics graduates, and the university’s pre-law program averaged over a 90% law school acceptance rate. Prior to Dillard, Walter enjoyed a fulfilling career in student affairs, serving at Emory University, Georgia State University, Old Dominion University, and finally Albany State University in 2000 where he became the vice president for student affairs at the age of 32. At the age of 37, he became the twelfth president of Philander Smith College (now Philander Smith University) where he was given the moniker “Hip Hop Prez” for his skillful use of hip hop culture and music to educate students as well as his effective use of social media for public conversation. His use of social media has been noted in articles by The Chronicle of Higher Education and in Dan Zaiontz’s book “#FollowTheLeader: Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEd CEOs.” named him one of 25 college presidents you should follow on Twitter, Education Dive regarded Walter as one of their “10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right,” and Josie Ahlquist included him on her list of “25 Higher Education Presidents to Follow on Twitter.” He also captured national attention in 2021 when journalist Malcolm Gladwell interviewed him and featured Dillard on his highly regarded “Revisionist History” podcast. Walter’s leadership has earned him numerous honors including: the coveted Ebony Magazine Power 100 list, The Grio 100: History Makers in the Making, one of’s “20 Most Interesting College Presidents,” one of the HBCU Campaign Fund’s “10 Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018,” and one of College Cliffs’ “50 Top U.S. College and University Presidents” in 2020. In 2021, Walter received a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Georgia State. With a background in student affairs, Walter has been recognized for his research and writings on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and African American men in college; and he is regarded as a national expert on historically Black, Latin and Asian fraternities and sororities. He is the author of the book “Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities” and has served as an expert witness in a number of hazing cases. A proud native of Atlanta, Walter earned his Ph.D. in higher education from Georgia State University, his master’s from Miami University in Ohio, and his bachelor’s from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Adria Nobles Kimbrough, an attorney, are the proud parents of two children, Lydia Nicole, and Benjamin Barack.

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Walter Kimbrough

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