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Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson

Dr. Cynthia A. Bond Hopson became Philander Smith University’s Interim President and CEO July 1, 2023, after serving almost 18 years as a trustee. Dr. Hopson’s previous role was 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 role she was responsible for promotion and interpretation of the funding that supported the denomination’s 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

She received the B.A. in mass communications from Clark College, (now Clark Atlanta University) the M.S. in Journalism from Murray (KY) State University, and the Ph.D. in Journalism from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She has received honors from the Brownsville Haywood County NAACP, the University of Tennessee Civil Rights Conference, Rust College, Bethune Cookman University, and was named a Woman of Excellence by Wiley College. A best-selling author, workshop leader, speaker, and podcast host, Dr. Hopson formerly taught at Lane College, Murray State University, and The University of Memphis.
A native Tennessean, she grew up in Stanton, Tenn., and is a member of the NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the National Association of Black Journalists. She is a member of the historic Centenary United Methodist Church in Memphis where her husband, the Rev. Roger A. Hopson, served as pastor until his death in October 2022. They have two children, Marcos and Angela, four grandchildren, Kierra, Terrell, Maya and Morgan, and one great-grandson, Avery. She lives in Maumelle, AR. 

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