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7 November 2007

Distinguished JSU Administrator Jack Hopper Dies

Jacksonville—Memorial services for Jack Hopper, 72, will be Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Theron Montgomery Building, 3rd floor Auditorium, on the JSU campus, with Dr. William A. Meehan, Rudy Abbott, Jim Bennett and Buddy Nelson officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

K. L. Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Center Chapel will be in charge of arrangements. Mr. Hopper died Tuesday at Jacksonville Medical Center. He is survived by his two sons, Mike Hopper and his wife Kelly, of Birmingham, AL and Mark Hopper of Anniston, AL; his grandsons David and Tyler Hopper and one granddaughter, Morgan Hopper. Honorary pallbearers will be the JSU Board of Trustees, past and present; JSU Presidents, past and present; Rudy Abbott, Jerry Cole, Tim Garner, Randy Woodrow, Julian Jenkins, Charles Mathews, Don Thacker, Opal Lovett, Clemit Spruiell, and Bascom Woodward.

Dr. Houston Cole named Jack Hopper as Jacksonville State University’s director of public relations on September 1, 1966.  Before joining JSU, Mr. Hopper served several years as a political reporter and staff writer for the Birmingham News.

Mr. Hopper served in a full-time capacity under four JSU presidents, Dr. Houston Cole, Dr. Ernest Stone, Dr. Theron Montgomery, Dr. Harold J. McGee, and witnessed the university’s growth from Jacksonville State College to Jacksonville State University.  During his more than 32 years at JSU, Mr. Hopper wore several hats: university lobbyist, athletic director, head of student recruiting, advisor to the Chanticleer and Mimosa, and a leader of the university’s first fund-raising office. 

Mr. Hopper was promoted to vice president of institutional advancement on December 1, 1985, and served in that capacity until his retirement on May 31, 1998.  Mr. Hopper went on to serve under a fifth president, Dr. William A. Meehan, as he continued to serve JSU part time during retirement.  He was named special assistant to the JSU president on October 1, 2002, and as assistant to the president on February 14, 2003.  He was awarded the title Vice President Emeritus November 6, 2006 and continued to serve JSU in the area of governmental affairs.

Mr. Hopper was a member of several fraternal affiliations including the Committee for Advancement of Higher Education, Sigma Delta Chi (Professional Journalism Society), Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Film Commission, the JSU Alumni Association , and the Gamecock Club.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the JSU Foundation or the American Heart Association, 1449 Medical Park Drive, Birmingham, AL, 35213 or P.O. Box 130909, Birmingham, AL, 35213. Online condolences may be sent to the family at:".

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