Here is some news from campus from January.

  • We honor the memory of Cicely Tyson, who was awarded an honorary degree in 2001 and pictured here in 2009 when she was one of 2 commencement speakers.
Image for post
Image for post
  • We announced our artist in residence, Grammy winner PJ Morton. Here is his Super Bowl Gospel performance, filmed on campus in the Cook performing arts center.

Class of 2021 news:

  • Traelon Rodgers was admitted to the University of California at Berkeley school of law (ranked #9), the School of Law at University of Texas at Austin (#16) and Emory University school of law (#24).

Image for post
Image for post

Monday, February 27, 2017.

I should have been in New York speaking for the College Board. It was UNCF week and since 2005 I have spent a full week in the city. Since the UNCF meetings didn’t start until Tuesday, and I had my Black College Fund of the United Methodist Church meeting Monday afternoon, I could meet with the College Board Monday morning.

That was the plan.

Then in January we learned that Senator Tim Scott and Rep. Mark Walker were going to host the first HBCU Fly In on Tuesday, February 28th. OK. So I’ll fly to DC…


Image for post
Image for post

Growing up I remember the Lenten self denial folders at church, where you put a quarter in every day as a simple self denial. As I got older I found other ways to participate in Lent. One year I gave up meat (really hard!). Several times I have given up caffeine, which is always tough for the first week but then gets better. But in 2013 I tried something new.

I gave up social media.

If you know me you know that social media is a big part of how I operate. For me I saw it as a game…


Image for post
Image for post

This year on King Day, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund announced a new scholarship program for people want to practice Civil Rights law. It’s an exciting program to develop the next generation of Thurgood Marshalls and Constance Baker Motleys. Launched with a $40 million grant, the program provides free tuition, fees, room and board to ANY accredited law school, a 2 year fellowship post graduation, and support for 8 years after the fellowship while they practice Civil Rights law in the South.

A new program means they need to hire people. One of the people is Adria Kimbrough, who was…


One of my goals was to make sure our campus experts got more exposure in the media. When I got here in 2012 I was very impressed with the expertise, but I wanted more people to know this. Well in the past month Dillard has been all over the news providing analysis. Here are some examples:

Image for post
Image for post

Our medical director Dr. Corey Hebert is on the news every week night on WDSU (New Orleans NBC affiliate), and pops up MSNBC some weekends. Recently he was on The Sunday Show to discuss fears around the vaccine.


Image for post
Image for post

My current students don’t always understand me when I say relationships are important. I tell them during orientation that each year they should find at least ONE faculty member who can write a good recommendation letter for them so when they graduate they have at least four people. And a good letter is one where the person doesn’t need to see your resume to write it.

I started sharing the words of Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack of Harvard, author of the wonderful text The Privileged Poor who says “It’s not what you know or who you know, but who knows…


I am modifying this piece I wrote last year on this date. It’s timely.

Image for post
Image for post
UNCF presidents with Rep. Nancy Pelosi at 2020 UNCF Annual Dinner

For the past few years I’ve made a resolution for my HBCU presidential colleagues to write more editorials (right- I’m making resolutions for them but since my younger colleagues call me the Dean of the young-ish presidents, I can do that!). I shared a number of quotes from presidents over the years saying we have to use our voices in the public sphere. My favorite was from Benjamin Elijah Mays, who in a 1951 article entitled “What’s Wrong With Negro Leaders,” wrote “the first thing wrong…


One of the phrases we heard a lot in 2020 was essential employee. These were the people that HAD to go to work in spite of a deadly virus. Even when cities shut down, schools and universities went online, and major corporations went to virtual offices, we still had people maintaining the basic functions that could not be done from a laptop at the house.

At Dillard, we had our essential employees as well. I know sometimes students and parents believe that everything should operate perfectly all the time, but anyone honest with themselves in 2020 realizes that this is…


December belongs to Durell Smylie, a 23-year-old car salesman from Baton Rouge who went viral for his promo video offering a deal to potential customers. Hopping out of the trunk he says “We goin’… where the money reside.”

I love people here in Louisiana. The creative use of words is simply unmatched (Big Freedia is the Queen, but you already know), and now Durell has everyone making plans for 2021 to be where the money reside. I expect at least one sermon tonight for Watch Night will be “Where the money reside!”

Well, in 2020, a lot of philanthropy…


Not only was 2020 marked by a coronavirus pandemic, it was also the year where we began looking at a racial pandemic as well. With most businesses and schools switching to a virtual environment beginning in March, everyone was at home — all the time. And since 2020 is also the designation for perfect vision, the killing of George Floyd on May 25th was clearly seen by people all around the world. Unlike the videos we have unfortunately seen all too often, this one was different. …

Walter M. Kimbrough

7th president of Dillard University

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store