In Memoriam: Woodson H. Hopewell Jr., 1954-2020

William Hopewell Jr. a long-time staff member at historically Black Hampton University in Virginia, died late last month. He was 66 years old.

A native of Philadelphia, Hopewell was an accomplished and talented pianist and vocalist. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in counseling from Hampton University.

Hopewell began his academic career at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. In 1976, he was hired as the night manager of the Student Union Building at Hampton University. Over a 44-year career at Hampton, Hopewell served as assistant director of student activities, director of student activities, and dean of men. In 2015, Hopewell was appointed dean of judicial affairs and housing.

Dean Hopewell served as president of the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals and was the first African-American to serve as president of the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators. He was the author of Off the Dean’s Desk: Anecdotal Musings From the Dean of Men (Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2012).

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  1. Woody was one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. I actually met him first as a kid. He and my aunt Gerri were like two peas in a pod. Woody would give you the shirt off of his back and he never changed. I worked form him later part-time in the student union while I attended HU. And was so proud that he continued to move up the ladder. He and I spoke earlier last year and it was just great to briefly talk about old times. You will be truly missed, my friend. A true servant leader. RIP my friend.

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