Name: Bill Hopper
Family: Donna Harvey Hopper – spouse; Bevan Hopper – son; McGee Hopper – daughter
Hometown: Waynesboro, Ga. (Birddog Capital of the World)
Current Town: Athens, Ga. (Dawg Capital of the World)
What Years at UGA: 1978 – 1982
School/Degree: BBA in Finance from the Terry College of Business
Profession: Banker for 35 years
Accolades: I have no personal accolades, but I am very proud of my family – my wife is a Double Dawg. My son is a Double Dawg. My daughter only has an undergraduate degree from UGA (like me), but she is in her first year of pediatric residency. So, I am the least accomplished academically.
What life lessons did you learn while at UGA?
A large portion of the value of a college education is about something other than academics. There is certainly a place for academics. However, college is really the opportunity to learn about yourself and to explore possibilities. I grew up as a minnow in a small pond and would have never realized the enormity and opportunity outside of that pond without my first venture out of that pond to UGA. All humanity is gifted by our Creator with tools. College teaches us to use our tools for the betterment of ourselves and our world.
What professor did you most admire?
I admire most professors for their willingness to invest in young minds. Possible exceptions are a special two (cannot remember their names) who made my journey through MS312 and Math207 most difficult. The current dean of the Terry College, Ben Ayres, is an outstanding example of the positive impact that a professor can make on students, community, and college. He gets it.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Raising a family, of which I am very proud, with my best friend / spouse. Also, planting deep roots and establishing many lifelong friendships in an extraordinary community like Athens.
Who are your heroes in real life?
We learn so much from our parents, and we owe so much to our parents. My father was the county government administrator in Burke County. He was accomplished academically, but chose to return after college to his hometown as a true public servant. His vocational career was a labor of love. My father reminds me of Kunz from Sir Thomas Carlyle’s masterpiece, Sartor Resartus. Kunz recognized that diligence was a trait that could create order in a chaotic world.
Quote to live by:
“Be Still and Know that I am God”
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
1) A round of golf on a classic, old course with a group of close friends
2) A late fall sunrise on a deer stand (Nature is the living garment of God)
3) A good meal with an extraordinary Cabernet among the fellowship of family and friends
4) A beautiful fall afternoon in Athens with the chapel bell ringing.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am extremely loyal to family, friends, employer, and alma mater. I have been fortunate to spend my 35 year career in the same market with only one job change.
What do you most value in your friends?
Unpretentiousness – life is too short to put on airs.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I want to change two things. First, I would be 6’5” so that I could spread my ample girth more evenly. Second, I would have a picturesque golf swing that repeats itself.
Who are your favorite writers?
Partially due to demands on my time and partially due to my personal priorities, I do not read for pleasure as much as I would like. I am not a recreational reader or a chapter per night reader. When I start a publication, I become consumed by the plot if it is intriguing. That being said, I enjoy Southern novelists like John Grisham. Also, I was raised on Sports Illustrated and newspaper box scores. I think that is how that I learned to read. So, I religiously read local news and periodicals like Bulldawg Illustrated.
Fave social media and who to follow?