Boone J. Hopkins, Ph.D. was announced as the twelfth president of Converse on February 25, 2022 by the Converse University Board of Trustees. Dr. Hopkins has been a dedicated member of the Converse community since 2012.
Originally from Gainesville, Georgia, Dr. Hopkins is a proud Red Elephant from Gainesville High School. He experienced an innovative undergraduate liberal-arts education through a unique partnership between Brenau University, a historic women’s college, and Gainesville State College, a two-year state institution now known as the University of North Georgia.
After completing a bachelor’s degree, Dr. Hopkins received his MFA in Directing and Acting Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University followed by a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from the University of Kansas. Dr. Hopkins moved to Spartanburg in 2012 to join Converse as an Assistant Professor of Theatre. In addition to directing plays and musicals at Converse including Legally Blonde: the Musical, Twelfth Night, Cabaret, The Wolves, and Godspell, Dr. Hopkins has served in numerous leadership capacities including: Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance, Dean of the School of the Arts, Senior Associate Provost for Student Success, Interim Provost, and Interim President.
Dr. Hopkins delights in helping those with whom he collaborates reach new heights and achieve excellence. In parallel with his leadership work for Converse, Dr. Hopkins brings his love of empowering others and impacting his community for good through his work in Spartanburg on the Board of the Chapman Cultural Center, as a member of the Ten at the Top Board to support economic development in the Upstate, and as a member of the Integrated Planning Advisory Group for the Spartanburg Academic Movement. Dr. Hopkins is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church and serves as an assistant basketball coach for the Advent Episcopal first and second-grade teams.
President Hopkins is married to Dr. Chandra Owenby Hopkins, Dean of Converse College for Women, and they have two children: Owen and Jack.
This is a time of beginnings, of open doors, of transformation and of bright futures. Converse is embarking on a three-year strategic vision plan. This bold new proposal launching in 2023 is designed around:
- enriching Converse’s programs;
- enhancing Converse’s places; and
- empowering Converse’s people.
Now more than ever, Converse is heeding the clarion charge of our founder, Dexter Edgar Converse, as we proudly stand together and resolve that WE WILL advance a culture of belonging and collaboration that ignites creativity, innovation, and transformation.
- Dr. Hopkins is Converse’s twelfth president.
- Dr. Hopkins has a Bachelor’s degree from the Gainesville Theatre Alliance, an MFA in Directing and Acting Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Kansas.
- The first person who told Dr. Hopkins that he had potential to be a university president was mentor and dear friend, Dr. Jeffrey H. Barker (Converse’s President in 2021).
- Dr. Hopkins built his family’s dining room table of heart pine reclaimed from an old mill in Laurens, South Carolina. He also built his sons a backyard playhouse.
- While at Converse, Dr. Hopkins has served as the Senior Associate Provost for Student Success, Dean of the School of the Arts, and Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance at Converse.
Schedule of Events
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2023
Community Partner Reception*
5:00 pm | OneSpartanburg, Inc.
This event is in appreciation for community organizations that have meaningful partnerships with Converse University.
THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2023
Roast and Toast*
6:00 pm | Piedmont Club
Before we toast, let’s “roast” Dr. Boone J. Hopkins. This will be a night of laughter shared amongst Converse faculty, staff, and special guests. Together, we will celebrate the installation of Dr. Hopkins as the 12th president of Converse University and our dynamic community who make our campus exceptional.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2023
10:30 am | Zimmerli Performance Center’s Twichell Auditorium
Please join us for the inauguration of Dr. Boone Hopkins as the 12th President of Converse University.
12:00 pm | Front Lawn
Immediately following the installation ceremony, guests are invited to join us for lunch on the lawn in front of Zimmerli Performance Center and Wilson Hall.
2:00 pm | Hazel B. Abbott Theater, Wilson Hall
This moderated panel discussion explores Converse experiences across the years through the lens of former and current presidential and alumni leadership.
6:00 pm | Gee Dining Room, Wilson Hall
The Inaugural Gala will offer our sincerest appreciation to Converse’s most loyal and generous donors. In addition, the event will celebrate President Hopkins’ dynamic new role as president and shine a spotlight on Converse’s vision of providing students with a rich educational experience that ignites creativity, innovation, and transformation.
Painting the Town Purple*
8:30 pm | Weisiger Gym in the Sally Abney Rose Physical Activity Complex
This campus event provides Converse students, faculty, and staff a special opportunity to celebrate the next chapter in our University’s vibrant future.
*Due to limited numbers, these events are by invitation only.
Guests will receive a link to RSVP to Inauguration events in their email or a mailed invitation to the address we have on file.
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