Dr. Cynthia A. Bond Hopson
Dr. Cynthia A. Bond Hopson assumed the role of Interim President and CEO at Philander Smith University on July 1, 2023, following nearly 18 years of dedicated service as a trustee at the institution. Before taking on this pivotal position, Dr. Hopson held the role of Chief Equity Officer and Assistant General Secretary at the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Black College Fund. In this capacity, she played a crucial role in promoting and managing the funding that provided support to the denomination’s 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Hopson’s academic journey is marked by her dedication and achievements. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), followed by a Master of Science degree in Journalism from Murray State University in Kentucky. She capped off her educational journey with a Ph.D. in Journalism from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Dr. Hopson’s contributions to academia and community have garnered her honors and recognition from esteemed organizations, including the Brownsville Haywood County NAACP, the University of Tennessee Civil Rights Conference, Rust College, and Bethune Cookman University. Additionally, she was named a Woman of Excellence by Wiley College.
Beyond her academic and professional accomplishments, Dr. Hopson is a versatile individual. She is a best-selling author, a proficient workshop leader, a captivating speaker, and a seasoned podcast host. Dr. Hopson has also shared her knowledge and expertise as an educator at Lane College, Murray State University, and The University of Memphis.
A proud native of Stanton, Tennessee, Dr. Hopson maintains active involvement in various organizations, including the NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the National Association of Black Journalists. She is a dedicated member of the historic Centenary United Methodist Church in Memphis. Her late husband, the Reverend Roger A. Hopson, served as the church’s pastor until his passing in October 2022. Dr. Hopson treasures her family, including her two children, Marcos and Angela, her four grandchildren – Kierra, Terrell, Maya, and Morgan, and her great-grandson, Avery. She currently resides in Maumelle, AR, where she continues to make a positive impact on her community and beyond.