BE Modern Man: Meet Dillard University President Walter M. Kimbrough

BE Modern Man is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.


Name:Walter M. Kimbrough

Age: 51

Profession: President, Dillard University

One Word that Describes you: Unconventional

Social Media handles: Instagram: @HipHopPrez Twitter:@HipHopPrez

Facebook: @walter.m.kimbrough

What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?

It is always an honor when people look at what you do and find value in it. It is a reminder that you never know who is looking at you.

What are some examples of how you have turned struggle into success?

I flunked out of veterinary school. It was a great character building experience because school was always something that came easy to me. Having to reposition my goals and be open to my true calling was the best thing that happened, but it was painful going through it.

What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?

People who are creative thinkers and push me to do likewise. I want to be inspired to do new and exciting things.

What are some immediate projects you are working on?

We’re planning for the 150th anniversary of the founding of Dillard University, so planning a yearlong strategy to raise our awareness nationally.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

From Dr. Walter Washington, president of Alcorn State, who told me to get a master’s degree in college students personnel. It opened up a new world to me.

What advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?

Learn how to ask for help! It is hard for us but asking for and receiving help is important.

What is your “Extraordinary Impact”? 

I work to serve as an advocate for my students, aiding them to do well academically, get internships, jobs, screen potential dating partners, go to funerals, you name it. I think an extraordinary college president is like how Eddie in Barbershop described a barber.

It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.

Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.