Despite the current controversy surrounding the Atlanta Public School's accreditation, the board's in-fighting amongst the school board and the cheating scandal, Philander Smith College President Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough said his matriculation at Benjamin E. Mays High School in southwest Atlanta fully prepared him for college.
Kimbrough—known as the "Hip Hop President" because he is one of the youngest college presidents in the country—graduated from Mays in 1985. He gives credit to the dedicated teachers and counselors he had at the public school.
“Part of it was being in southwest Atlanta was that I had a peer group that was very competitive," Kimbrough said. "So my class at the time broke all kinds of records in receiving scholarships in the Atlanta Public Schools."
Kimbrough is son of Rev. Walter L. Kimbrough Sr., pastor emeritus of Cascade United Methodist Church and Marjorie L. Kimbrough.
“When people ask me if I'm the son of 'the' Walter Kimbrough, I tell them – 'I am 'the' Walter Kimbrough', he joked.
Kimbrough has been president of the Little Rock, Ark., school for six years. He is known in academia as the “Hip Hop President.” His Twitter handle is @HipHopPrez.
Prior to becoming president of Philander Smith College, he served in administrative positions at Albany State University, Old Dominion University, Georgia State University and Emory University.
Kimbrough is in Atlanta this weekend to attend a conference sponsored by the Southern Education Fund (SEF) of Historically Black Colleges and University presidents. The leaders are gathering at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Atlanta.
The theme of the conference is “What America Needs To Know About The Role of HBCUs in The National College Completion Agenda.” More than 100 college presidents are expected to attend.