James K. Hopkins, professor of history and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been named the inaugural recipient of SMU’s Second Century Faculty Career Achievement Award, announced by the Office of the Provost Friday, April 17, 2015.
In his honor, the James K. Hopkins SMU Second Century Faculty Career Achievement Scholarship has been created and will be awarded to a student in SMU’s fall 2015 entering class.
In addition, he has received the 2015 SMU Faculty Club Mentor Supereminens Award, recognizing “exceptional mentoring of the University’s faculty and students.”
“Professor Hopkins’ achievements exemplify a career of outstanding accomplishment in scholarship, teaching and sustained commitment to the University,” the award citation reads. “[H]is academic merits are complemented by a career of service to furthering SMU’s engagement in world-changing issues.”
“I simply cannot imagine a more deserving recipient of this award than Jim Hopkins, who is nothing less than a University treasure,” says Andrew Graybill, professor and chair of the William P. Clements Department of History and co-director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. “Across a career spanning more than four decades, Jim has served his students, the SMU community and the world beyond our campus borders with extraordinary grace and commitment. It is so fitting that an incoming student will receive a scholarship in Jim’s name, so that his legacy will continue.”
Hopkins joined SMU in 1974 and for several years served as director of undergraduate studies in the Department of History. He also served as associate dean for general education in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He chaired the Clements Department of History from 2001 to 2007. As president of the Faculty Senate, he served as a member of SMU’s Board of Trustees. In 2011, during the 100th-anniversary year of the University’s founding, he chaired the SMU Centennial Academic Symposium, “The University and the City.”
An early advocate of education beyond the campus, Hopkins co-founded SMU’s Inter-Community Experience (ICE) Program combining learning with service. Deeply involved in study abroad, he was founding director of SMU-in-Oxford and also served as director of SMU-in-Britain.
Other University honors include the “M” Award, SMU’s most prestigious award for outstanding service; the Phi Beta Kappa Perrine Prize for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship; four Rotunda Outstanding Professor Awards; the United Methodist Church Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award; Faculty Volunteer of the Year Award for “exemplary leadership in the greater Dallas community”; and on four occasions the Willis M. Tate Award for contributions to student life. He received the Distinguished University Citizen Award in 2005 and is a five-time recipient of the HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award, given by student staff members in SMU Residence Life and Student Housing. He has been a long-time adviser to the University’s President’s Scholars Program.
Hopkins teaches courses on modern Britain and European social and intellectual history, modern European history, women in European history, and service learning related to Dallas. From his course on the social history of atomic energy, he wrote and narrated a film used for an academic orientation, “The University and the Fate of the Earth.” The film received a Silver Award from the New York International Film and TV Festival. During the 1996-97 academic year, he served as the first Public Scholar with SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.
Hopkins’ publications include two books examining the ideas of ordinary men and women in times of political crisis, A Woman to Deliver Her People: Joanna Southcott and English Millenarianism in an Age of Revolution and Into the Heart of the Fire: The British in the Spanish Civil War. The latter received a 1999 Godbey Authors’ Award as an outstanding book written by an SMU faculty member. For the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute, he developed a popular course on Los Alamos and the Manhattan nuclear bomb project.
Hopkins received his B.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma and was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Cambridge University. He earned his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. He will retire in May as professor emeritus of history.