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Hopkins begins as 12th president of Campbellsville University

Hopkins begins as 12th president of Campbellsville University
Dr. Joseph Hopkins is Campbellsville University’s 12th president. He took office Feb. 1, 2022. (Campbellsville University Photo by Brett Pierce)

By Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — A new era began at Campbellsville University Feb. 1 when Dr. Joseph Hopkins became the university’s 12th president.

Hopkins’ day began at 7:15 a.m. in Ransdell Chapel as he met with his President’s Cabinet, Campbellsville University’s Board of Trustees and School of Theology Dean Dr. John Hurtgen, in a time of focused prayer for this new administration and the future of CU.

A video message was sent to all employees and students at 7:54 a.m. expressing his pride at being a part of the Tiger team and thanking Dr. H. Keith Spears, and the cabinet, for exemplary leadership.

Hopkins said, “If you want to finish well, you need to start well.”

“We will pray, we will plan, we will celebrate, we will discuss, and we will pray again,” he said of the board meeting.

He announced a new tradition of making his way around the campus to cover CU students, faculty, staff and alumni in prayer.

Before coming to Campbellsville, Hopkins was in his 16th year as the dean of the School of the Arts at Samford University and previously 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.

Hopkins holds degrees from Shorter University, Baylor University and Indiana University. He completed the Management and Leadership in Education Diploma from Harvard University.

He is married to Suzanne Hopkins, and they have two sons, Joseph and Vance. Their home is ruled by Winston, their beloved Scottish Terrier.

“Okay, Campbellsville,” Hopkins said. “Let’s do this. Let’s work together. Let’s seek His direction and look forward to the high calling and journey ahead.”

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, bachelors, associate, pre-professional, and certificate programs. The website for complete information is