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Ken Hopper retires after 25 years at university

By Courtney Olson

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Ken Hopper, assistant professor of art, retired a few weeks before the semester began. Hopper started the visual art program at the university in 1990.

Hopper sent an email to his previous students letting them know that he was retiring from the university. He is engaged to a “wonderful woman from Grand Rapids” and he said they will be married in June.

In the email, he wrote, “It’s been a fantastic 25 years at HU. I turn 65 in November and I’m ready for some new adventures.”

Prior to joining the faculty, Hopper taught at Marion College, Purdue University, Ball State University and Indiana Wesleyan University.

“We were very supportive of professor Hopper’s decision to retire after serving HU for 25 years, and we wish him well in this new chapter of his life,” Rebecca Coffman, art professor, said. “He was very instrumental in the growth and success of the department during his tenure at HU.”

Two adjuncts from the Fort Wayne area, including Gregor Roth, who has an MFA in studio art and a BFA in visual communications and design, and Patricia Weiss, who has an MFA in studio art and a BFA in painting, have been hired by the university to cover Hopper’s position for the time being.

Weiss said she was informed about Hopper’s retirement about two weeks before classes started, and was asked to teach Design 1 and 2, Drawing and 2 as well as Painting 1.

Mike Wanous, dean of students, said the university is currently searching for a “full-time tenure track replacement” for Hopper’s position in graphic design.

“The university is thankful to professor Hopper for his service to HU and wishes him well in his new adventure,” Wanous said.

Hopper was unavailable for comment.

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