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Walter M. Kimbrough

Executive in Residence, University of Southern California

A native of Atlanta, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough was his high school salutatorian and student body president in 1985 and went on to earn degrees from the University of Georgia, Miami University in Ohio, and a doctorate in higher education from Georgia State University. He has enjoyed a fulfilling career in student affairs, serving at Emory University, Georgia State University, Old Dominion University, and Albany State University. In October of 2004, at the age of 37, he was named the 12th president of Philander Smith College. In 2012 he became the 7th president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and served for ten years.

After 17 years as an HBCU president, Kimbrough is experiencing an “intermission” where he is exploring a range of professional experiences. For spring 2024 he served as the inaugural Rutgers University Center for Minority Serving Institutions President-In-Residence. Kimbrough served as the interim executive director of the Black Men’s Research Institute at Morehouse College during the 2022-23 academic year. He continues to serve as Executive-In-Residence for the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center. In early 2022 he was appointed by President Joseph Biden to the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs.

Kimbrough has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college. Recently he has emerged as one of the leaders discussing free speech on college campuses. Kimbrough also has been noted for his active use of social media. He was cited by Education Dive as one of 10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right (@HipHopPrez), and in 2015 he was named by The Best as one of the 20 most interesting college presidents. In 2023 College Cliffs named him as one of the 55 Top U.S. College And University Presidents, and in 2021 he was named a Georgia State University Alumni of the Year award winner.

Dr. Kimbrough has forged a national reputation as an expert on fraternities and sororities, with specific expertise regarding historically Black, Latin and Asian groups. 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 if hazing cases.


  • –present
    President of Dillard University, Dillard University