Dillard University’s board of trustees has chosen Walter M. Kimbrough, Ph.D., to lead the university as its seventh president. Dr. Kimbrough will assume the post on July 1, 2012.
“We are thrilled to bring such an energetic, visionary leader to Dillard,” says board chair Joyce M. Roché. “Dr. Kimbrough is uniquely well-suited to help the university build on its strengths and chart a strategic course for the future.”
Kimbrough joins Dillard after serving for seven years as president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., where he orchestrated a remarkable revitalization effort. Under his leadership, the college dramatically increased student recruitment and graduation rate. The university also adopted a new mission and greatly raised its stature by focusing on its core values and history as an HBCU and a charter member of the United Negro College Fund.
Kimbrough, who is among the youngest college presidents in the nation, is known for his active use of social media to engage and stay connected with students. “The depth of Dr. Kimbrough’s dedication to students is inspiring,” says Dr. Roché. “He is successful because he puts students’ success above all else.”
Prior to beginning his tenure at Philander Smith, Kimbrough served for four years as the vice president for student affairs at Albany State University in Albany, Ga. He also served as director of student activities and leadership at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and held administrative posts at Georgia State University and Emory University.
Kimbrough received a bachelor of science in agriculture with a major in biology from the University of Georgia. He earned a master of science in college student personnel services from Miami University and a doctor of philosophy in higher education from Georgia State University.
Kimbrough has written widely on the role of fraternities and sororities in education, particularly in the educational experiences of students of color. His book, Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs, and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities, has won popular acclaim and is now in its tenth printing. He has also been recognized for his extensive research and writing on African-American men in college. “The Black Male Initiative” he created at Philander Smith College has become a model for similar programs nationwide.
Kimbrough has received numerous honors and awards. He was selected as a 2001 Nissan-ETS HBCU Fellow and a 2002 participant in the Millennium Leadership Initiative sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In 2009, he was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of “25 To Watch.” And in 2010, he made the coveted Ebony Magazine Power list of the 100 doers and influencers in the African-American community, joining the likes of President and Mrs. Obama, Jay-Z, Richard Parsons, Tyler Perry, Debra Lee, Michael Jordan, and Tom Joyner.
Dr. Kimbrough and his wife Adria Nobles Kimbrough, associate general counsel with the University of Arkansas System, are the proud parents of two children: Lydia Nicole, 5, and Benjamin Barack, 2.