Training Camp

Walter M. Kimbrough
3 min readAug 6, 2022


This is the week when I normally take off and get focused for the academic year. It generally consists of two-a-day workouts, extra rest and reflection. I also look for some key readings as I prepare for the faculty-staff conference. But this is the first time in 17 years when I didn’t have to prepare for the year as a president.

But the habit does not die so this was training camp week. In fact, I’ve done some different things starting in July to get in better shape. I focused on being disciplined with my diet so that meant no fried foods, only water and water beverages, no eating after 7 pm (ish). I was inspired by a series of sermons in June by Rev. Jamal Bryant of New Birth in Atlanta. Even with a cheat here and there, I feel great and have lost about 14 pounds in 5 weeks.

How Sweet It Is — YouTube

Don’t Feed Me A Bunch of Crap — YouTube

I Got The Munchies — YouTube

Since I am in my intermission, I’ve done a range of things. Moderated a discussion with Nikole Hannah Jones and Michael Eric Dyson. Spoke for the HRC HBCU Summit. Spoke at Fisk University as part of their leadership team retreat. Did a virtual presentation for fraternity and sorority headquarters staff to talk about using data to address issues like hazing.

We also attended a very nice dinner sponsored by the Perrault family, with Mrs. Perrault being a Dillard alum who wanted to do something to say thanks for our time there. Two of the members of the City Council also participated, as well as our new president Dr. Rochelle Ford. Oh yeah- we moved, making July a very busy month.

I didn’t expect to be on a campus this fall.

While I am an executive in residence at USC, I am not moving to California! (I had lots of people hit me up about that). The position makes me a member of the Center on Race and Equity, and I will do special projects along the way, the centerpiece being to co-chair their new National HBCU Racial Equity Commission.

I am a member of The Registry which places executives in interim positions. This past week we solidified an opportunity for me to do a one-year interim at an institution which is starting a new center, and I will serve as the director. This gives me a faculty and research experience, and to be part of a dynamic higher education community.

Where will I be this year? I’ll let you know… on Tuesday.




Walter M. Kimbrough

12th president of Philander Smith College. 7th president of Dillard University. Now in an Intermission.