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 finally Albany State University in 2000 where he became the vice president for Student Affairs at the age of 32. In October of 2004, at the age of 37, he was named the 12th president of Philander Smith College. In 2012, he became the seventh president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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 in articles by The Chronicle of Higher Education, and in the book "Follow The Leader: Lessons in Social Media Success from Higher Ed CEOs." He was cited in 2010 by BachelorsDegree.org as one of 25 college presidents you should follow on Twitter. He was also cited by Education Dive as one of 10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right. In 2015, he was named by TheBestSchools.org as one of the 20 most interesting college presidents.
A 1986 initiate of the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at the University of Georgia, Kimbrough was the Alpha Phi Alpha College Brother of the Year for the Southern Region and served as the Southern Region Assistant Vice President. 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.
Kimbrough was named the 1994 New Professional of the Year for the Association of Fraternity Advisors. In 2010, he made the coveted Ebony Magazine Power 100 list of the doers and influencers in the African American community; and in February of 2013, he was named to NBC News/TheGriot.com’s 100 African Americans making history today. Kimbrough was named male HBCU President of the Year for 2014 by HBCU Digest. In 2020 he was named by College Cliffs as one of 50 Top U.S. College and University Presidents.
Kimbrough and his wife Adria Nobles Kimbrough, an attorney, are the proud parents of two children, Lydia Nicole and Benjamin Barack.