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Philander Smith College names GBHEM’s chief equity officer and assistant general secretary, Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson as interim president

June 23, 2023

Dr. Cynthia A. Bond Hopson, chief equity officer and assistant general secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), has been appointed to serve as the interim president of Philander Smith College effective July 1, 2023. Dr. Bond Hopson will be responsible for overseeing the institution’s strategic initiatives as the board launches a nationwide search for a new president. Dr. Bond Hopson will be on a one-year sabbatical leave from GBHEM during this interim period.

“We are excited for Philander Smith College as Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson embarks on her new journey as the interim president of this prestigious institution of higher education. Dr. Bond Hopson is uniquely gifted for this position given her extensive background as an educational leader and advocate for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in education,” expressed Rev. Greg Bergquist, general secretary of GBHEM. 

Dr. Bond Hopson is a proven leader in higher education and an expert in institutional transformation. For the past several years, she has played a key role in building intentional inclusion, diversity, equity, and access for GBHEM staff and constituency. In her role as the chief equity officer and assistant general secretary at GBHEM, Dr. Bond Hopson was directly responsible for training and retaining ethnically diverse United Methodist in leadership, as well as interpreting, promoting, and managing funding for the 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities. 

Rev. Bergquist also stated, “Her expertise and passion for education has made an invaluable impact on the culture of GBHEM and United Methodist related historically black colleges and universities across the United States.” Dr. Bond Hopson has been instrumental in nurturing the ongoing relationship with the United Methodist Church and the Black College Fund. 

She received a B.A. in mass communications from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), an M.S. in journalism from Murray State University and a Ph.D. in journalism from Southern Illinois University. She is the author of eight published books and the recipient of many prestigious awards. GBHEM is proud to support Dr. Bond Hopson on her new journey and believes she is well prepared to lead the institution to transformative change.

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