Posted by William Nunnelley on 2006-06-07

Dr. Joseph Hopkins, dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., has been named dean of the Samford School of Performing Arts. Dr. Hopkins, dean at Converse since 2002, will succeed retiring Samford Dean Milburn Price July 1.

Samford Provost Brad Creed announced Hopkins' appointment in late May.

"I am pleased to welcome Dr. Joe Hopkins to Samford University as the new Dean of the School of Performing Arts," said Dr. Creed. "He is a proven academic leader, a gifted musician, and a strong supporter of the Christian mission of Samford University. I am looking forward to working with him as he makes the transition to his new position of leadership."

At Converse, Hopkins has led the nation's only comprehensive school of music at a women's college. It offers degrees in music performance, composition, theory, history, education, business, therapy and liberal studies.

During Hopkins' tenure, the school has increased its undergraduate and graduate enrollments, drawn larger audiences to its variety of programs, created a sold-out subscription series and operated with a budget in the black after nearly a decade in the red.

Since 2005, Hopkins also served as artistic director and dean of the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival at Converse, which will begin its inaugural season in the summer of 2007.

Hopkins has performed in numerous opera and concert productions. He performed the title role of Figaro in the production of Il barbiere di Siviglia, which received first place in the 2000 National Opera Association production awards. He has performed with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Madrid Chamber Orchestra and numerous others.

Hopkins was chair of the music department at the University of Evansville during 2000-2002. Earlier, he served as head of the choral and vocal division and director of Opera at Evansville during 1996-2000 and as instructor of music at Evansville during 1991-96.

He also served as associate professor of music at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England, during 1997-99.

Hopkins holds the doctor of music in vocal performance from Indiana University, the master of music in vocal performance from Baylor University and the bachelor of music cum laude with honors in vocal performance from Shorter College.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.