NEW ORLEANS — Dillard University on Tuesday named a new president, Walter Kimbrough, to take over the helm of the historically black college in New Orleans.
Kimbrough, as president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., is scheduled to start his new job on July 1, 2012.
Dillard’s board of trustees picked Kimbrough to replace Marvalene Hughes, who announced in February that she would be leaving the post.
Kimbrough has served as president of Philander Smith College for seven years. Before that, he served as vice president for student affairs at Albany State University in Albany, Ga., for four years.
According to Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, Kimbrough raised freshmen retention rates from 51 percent to 77 percent in his first five years at Philander Smith. “He has given special attention to the challenges that face Black male students, raising the Black male graduation rate by over 70 percent,” said Lomax.
Joyce Roche, who heads Dillard’s board of trustees, said Kimbrough, 44, is one of the nation’s youngest college presidents and is known for using social media to stay connected with students.
“We are thrilled to bring such an energetic, visionary leader to Dillard,” Roche said in a statement. “Dr. Kimbrough is uniquely well-suited to help the university build on its strengths and chart a strategic course for the future.”
Kimbrough will be Dillard’s seventh president. Hughes became Dillard’s president in July 2005, a month before Hurricane Katrina struck and flooded the college along with roughly 80 percent of New Orleans.
Kimbrough has an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree from Miami University and a doctorate from Georgia State University.
Diverse staff contributed to this report.