Walter M. Kimbrough // Hip Hop President

If you’ve ever read a list of college presidents to follow on Twitter, you’ve probably heard of Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, the Hip Hop President. Walter’s official title is “President of Dillard University,” but he’s so much more than that. He’s also a published author, accomplished researcher, master of personal branding and presidential tweeting pro. In our conversation, we break down the development of Walter’s personal brand, his experiences tackling difficult discussions, and the people that inspire him.

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Notes from this Episode

Philander Smith College

Dillard University



Twitter: @HipHopPrez

Instagram: @HipHopPrez

New Orleans Times-Picayune Editorial

Seth Godin

Issa Rae

Google Alerts



The Advocate

Santa Ono

Black Greek 101: The Culture, Customs, and Challenges of Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities


Dillard Mission

Phliander Smith Mission

Generation X: The Hip Hop Generation

Arkansas Times “Hip Hop President” Article

Essence Festival

Gordon Gee

Russell Simmons



MC Lyte

Hip Hop and Ethics class

Chuck D

Koole Moe Dee

Kendrick Lamar

J Cole

Run the Jewels

Killer Mike

Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre & Giving to HBCUs

University of Michigan


The Defiant Ones

Straight Outta Compton

Brain Food Series

Bless the Mic

#AltonSterlingFamily Scholarship

Malcolm Nance

Dayton Dance Company

Angela Rye

Shannon Sharpe

Janelle Monáe Commencement Speech

6 Days, 5 Nights, 4 Cities, 3 Speeches, 2 Schools, 1 Interview

Student Dillard Blogs

My Statement: White House HBCU Event

MTV2 interview

CNN interview

Father Heshbergh

Benjamin Mays

Born to Rebel

Martin Luther King Jr. Speeches

Public Enemy

Walter’s LinkedIn

Dave Chappelle

Pell Grants

More about Walter

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 7th 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. 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 Bachelors as one of 25 college presidents you should follow on Twitter, 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. A 1986 initiate of the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity 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. 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. Dr. Kimbrough was named the 1994 New Professional of the Year for the Association of Fraternity Advisors. In 2009, he was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 To Watch.

In 2010, he made the coveted Ebony Magazine Power 100 list of the doers and influencers in the African American community, joining the likes of President and Mrs. Obama, Jay-Z, and Tyler Perry. In February of 2013 he was named to NBC News/The’s 100 African Americans making history today, joining another impressive group including Kerry Washington, Mellody Hobson, and Kendrick Lamar. Kimbrough was named male HBCU President of the Year for 2014 by HBCU Digest. Dr. Kimbrough and his wife Adria Nobles Kimbrough, attorney and director of the Dillard University pre-law program, are the proud parents of two children: Lydia Nicole, 11, and Benjamin Barack, 8.

Connect with Walter

Twitter: @hiphopprez

Instagram: @hiphopprez

Snapchat: @hiphopprez




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About Josie and The Podcast

In each episode, Dr. Josie Ahlquist – digital leadership author, researcher, and speaker – connects tech and leadership in education. This podcast will bring you leaders on-campus and online. From Senior Vice Presidents on Snapchat, YouTubers receiving billions of views and new media professionals. All through the lens of social media and leadership.

Josie hopes you will not only learn from these digital leaders but also laugh as we all explore how to be our best selves online and off.

Thanks for listening! Please subscribe to receive the latest episodes, share widely and let me know you’d checked it out! Tweet me @josieahlquist – I would love to hear from you!

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