Campbellsville University Board of Trustees selects Samford University dean as 12th president of Campbellsville University

By Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. Joseph “Joe” Hopkins, dean of the School of Arts at Samford University, has been elected 12th president in the 115 years of Campbellsville University effective Feb. 1, 2022.

Campbellsville University’s Board of Trustees voted to elect Hopkins earlier in the afternoon, and the Campbellsville University employees, staff and students will meet the president-elect Tuesday, Nov. 9 in a special called meeting in Ransdell Chapel.

Hopkins was recommended to the Board of Trustees by the Presidential Search Committee chaired by Dr. Larry Noe, who has served on the board since 1994 and as chair from 1999 to 2001. The nation-wide search was conducted with the support of ZRG Partners executive search firm.

“Dr. Hopkins is a vibrant educator who brings a wealth of experience and energy to the presidency,” Noe said. “He understands the mission of Christian higher education and will lead Campbellsville University to a new level of service.”

Henry Lee, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, said, “The Board of Trustees sees in Dr. Joe Hopkins a person of vision and action. We look forward to his leadership.

“Likewise, our faculty, staff and students will discover a president who reflects a sense of excitement as we grow this institution.”

Hopkins is in his 16th year as the dean of the School of the Arts at Samford University. Prior to this appointment, he served as dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Evansville.

He has enjoyed a distinguished career as a scholar-performer and leader in arts administration, including appointments by international festivals, higher education councils and the Fulbright Program.

“I am honored to join the great people and traditions of Campbellsville University,” Hopkins said.

“Suzanne and I are attracted to the strong Christian mission and have fallen in love with the heart of CU. This is an extraordinary community that is shaping a courageous and needed model for higher education that serves the Body of Christ with excellence.”

As dean, Hopkins has guided extensive growth in enrollment, fundraising and community engagement. Academic reputation was enhanced with the recruiting of nationally engaged faculty, innovative curriculum and applications, and vibrant international programs.

Hopkins founded and directed the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival, served on the faculty of the Operafestival di Roma, and performed across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Highlights include leading operatic roles; solo performances with the Moscow State Philharmonic, St. Petersburg State Orchestra, International Chamber Orchestra of Rome; and featured performances at St. Martin in the Fields Church of London, Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and on Chinese National Radio.

Hopkins holds degrees from Shorter University, Baylor University and Indiana University. He completed the Management and Leadership in Education Diploma from Harvard University. He chairs the Global Connections Committee of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans; his contributions to art administration have been published and presented in national and international forums; and he was a Fulbright Senior Specialist to Indonesia.

Hopkins is an ordained minister and has served in churches in Indiana, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky. Presently, he is worship pastor at First Baptist Church of Birmingham. He and his wife perform together and have shared in ministry, teaching and community. She is a music educator who has taught at the university and primary levels, as well as her own private studio.

Their son Joseph, 18, is a freshman in business finance at Samford University. Vance, 16, is a junior and athlete at Briarwood High School. The family dog, Winston, is the most beloved and well-known member of the family.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.