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Office of Communications

Voorhees Board of Trustees names college’s 10th president 

The Voorhees College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Ronnie Hopkins to serve as the 10th president of the institution, effective July 9, 2021. The decision comes after a national search, three finalists’ visits to campus and a unanimous vote by the board.

“With the help of the search firm more than 107 applicants were reviewed. It was an exhausting process but we feel confident that we have identified the right candidate for whom the board voted unanimously,” said David Miller, chairperson of the board.

“Dr. Hopkins brings a wealth of higher-education experience, expansive leadership, fundraising acumen and vast institutional knowledge. His appointment perfectly positions the college to advance and accelerate the current momentum and focus on enrollment, innovation and fiscal stability. His remarkable demeanor, skills, prudent judgement and interpersonal skills will be a great asset. We welcome him and look forward to his leadership as we ‘begin, believe and become’ in this next chapter,” said Dr. Traci Young-Cooper, vice chairperson of the board.

“I appreciate the board’s confidence in my ability to lead Voorhees and I am honored to serve as president of the college. I look forward to working with the board, the senior leadership team, faculty, staff, alumni and the community to develop students to become contributing members of a global society,” said Hopkins.

“In the coming weeks I will be looking forward to promoting the brand of the college, enhancing our enrollment opportunities, friend raising and fundraising and preparing to have students fully involved on campus when they return in August for the 2021-2022 academic year.”

Prior to being named the president of Voorhees, Hopkins served as interim president and before that he was the institution’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. He is the accreditation liaison and a tenured professor of English.

“During the next 30 to 60 days, I will be meeting with various stakeholders sharing my vision for Voorhees and conducting listening sessions,” said Hopkins. “We also will begin planning to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the college, which will be April 7, 2022. The yearlong observance will include activities for students, faculty, staff and the greater community.”

Hopkins has been in public and higher education for nearly 30 years, serving in senior leadership roles and instructional positions that involve supervision of faculty, staff, students, budgeting, and strategic planning. He has authored more than 10 research articles and received $30 million in grant funding to advance higher education priorities.

Hopkins has conducted international scholarly research and made presentations in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa; Buea, Cameroon, Central West Africa; the University of Technology at Quibdo, Choco, South America; Guilan, Beijing, and Shanghai, Republic of China; University of Ghana-Legon, Accra, Ghana, West Africa; Merida, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and, Cape Town, South Africa.

He actively serves as an Off-site and On-site Reaffirmation Committee Evaluator for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Possible Worlds Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides full-service career strategic directions and opportunities in education and employment for disenfranchised citizens impacted by homelessness, incarceration, and HIV/AIDS.

Before coming to Voorhees, he served at Benedict College as founding dean of the Freshman Institute and the School of Honors. Other positions in which he served at Benedict included professor of English, chair of the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Mass Communication, and dean of the School of Continuing Education, Graduate Studies and Lifelong Learning.

Hopkins earned doctoral and master’s degrees in English from Michigan State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a secondary teaching certification from North Carolina Central University. He also completed postdoctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa from Saint Monica University in Buea, Cameroon, Central West Africa.

Hopkins is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Bible Way Church of Atlas Road, and the Class of 2020 Executive Leadership Academy sponsored by the American Academic Leadership Institute for preparation of experienced college executive officers to become successful presidents and chancellors. A high-resolution image of Dr. Hopkins is available at

For more information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at

About Voorhees University

Voorhees University, founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright in 1897, is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Its mission is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Voorhees as a #1 best value, #3 in social mobility and #33 among regional colleges in the south in 2022-2023; and #26 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationally. Additional information about Voorhees University can be found at


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