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Benedict College Welcomes Dr. Walter Kimbrough as its 2023 Fall Convocation Speaker on Thursday, August 24th at 11 a.m.

The Former President of Dillard University will join Benedict College in Celebrating its Scholars

Walter KimbroughColumbia, SC, August 21, 2023, Benedict College will kick off the 153rd academic year with the 2023 Fall Convocation. The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 24, 2023, at 11 a.m. in Antisdel Chapel.  The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Walter Kimbrough who is the former President of Dillard University and Philander Smith College.

The Fall Convocation is a college community-building event that provides members of the administration, faculty, and staff an opportunity to officially welcome the new and returning students to the campus. It is also a time to celebrate and recognize the academic accomplishments and achievements of students.

“It is a pleasure to welcome my friend and colleague, Dr. Kimbrough to the Benedict College campus,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. “He has been an outspoken leader on free speech on college campuses and always has his finger on the pulse of the African American culture. I believe he will inspire and challenge the minds of our students.”

Dr. Walter Kimbrough’s career was built in student affairs, and he has been recognized for his research and writings on HBCUs and African American men in college. A proud native of Atlanta and was his high school’s salutatorian and student body president in 1985. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, his master’s from Miami University in Ohio, and his Ph.D. in higher education from Georgia State University. At the age of 32, he served as the vice president for student affairs at Albany State University. Prior to that, he served at Emory University, Georgia State University, and Old Dominion University. Dr. Walter Kimbrough’s path led him to Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas where, at 37-years-old, he was named the college’s 12th president. In 2012, he was named the seventh president of Dillard University where he served for ten years.

Dr. Walter Kimbrough has leveraged his influence to be a voice in the community. In 2014, in the wake of the Michael Brown killing, Dillard hosted a Black Male Summit. In 2016, he advocated for Andrew Jones, the Amite High School valedictorian who was denied participation in graduation due to a facial hair policy. In 2018, the University hosted a convening for Louisiana’s HBCUs, the White House Initiative on HBCUs, UNCF, and several of the state’s major economic organizations to identify ways for HBCUs to more actively engage in economic development. In 2020, Dr. Walter Kimbrough advocated for Ka’Mauri Harrison, a then-fourth-grade student suspended for having a BB gun in view during a distance class from his bedroom. He has also emerged as one of the leaders discussing free speech on college campuses.

Known by the moniker, “The Hip Hop Prez,” Dr. Walter Kimbrough is widely recognized for his adroit use of social media. He was cited in 2010 by as one of 25 college presidents you should follow on Twitter. In 2013, he was also cited by Education Dive as one of “10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right,” and he was named to Josie Ahlquist’s “25 Higher Education Presidents to Follow on Twitter.” Dr. Walter Kimbrough’s use of social media has been noted in articles by The Chronicle of Higher Education and in Dan Zaiontz’s book “#FollowTheLeader: Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEd CEOs.” He also captured national attention in 2021 when journalist Malcolm Gladwell interviewed him and featured Dillard on his highly regarded “Revisionist History” podcast.

Dr. Walter Kimbrough’s leadership has been recognized frequently. In 2010, he made the coveted Ebony Magazine Power 100 list of the doers and influencers in the African American community. In 2013, he was named to The Grio 100: History Makers in the Making. The following year, he was named HBCU Male President of the Year by HBCU Digest, and he was named by as one of the “20 Most Interesting College Presidents” in 2016. The HBCU Campaign Fund named him one of the “10 Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2018” and College Cliffs named President Kimbrough one of their “50 Top U.S. College and University Presidents” in 2020. In 2021, Dr. Walter Kimbrough was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Georgia State.

A 1986 initiate of the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at the University of Georgia, Dr. Walter Kimbrough has leveraged his fraternity experiences and his student affairs research to become one of the country’s experts in Greek life. He was the Alpha Phi Alpha College Brother of the Year for the Southern Region and served as the Southern Region assistant vice president. He 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 of hazing cases. Because of his work, Dr. Walter Kimbrough received the Association of Fraternity Advisors’ New Professional of the Year Award in 1994 and Kent Gardner Award in 2016.


About Benedict College (

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution offering 26 competitive baccalaureate degree programs. The Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. The College also has a diverse faculty; more importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty.

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.   2019 Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest. Benedict College was listed among the top half of ranked HBCUs in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges by US News and World Report.

Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Six of the College’s degree programs hold national accreditation: The School of Education, Social Work Program, Environmental Health Science Program, Environmental Engineering Program, Studio Art Program, and the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship.

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