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April 1, 2014
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Hopkins embraces 'calling to serve God'

Baldwin City, Kan. — As a baritone bugler for the Sky Ryders Drum and Bugle Corps from Hutchinson, Kan., during his youth, Kevin Hopkins always enjoyed attending music camps at Baker University. Those fond memories have remained for more than 30 years as Hopkins, now known as RevKev, prepares to return to the Baldwin City campus this summer.Kevin-Hopkinsforweb

Hopkins, the senior pastor at Leavenworth (Kan.) First United Methodist Church since 2009, was announced in January as the minister to the
University, effective July 1. He will succeed the Rev. Ira DeSpain, a 1970 Baker graduate, who announced last year his plans to retire at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year after serving his alma mater for 22 years.

"I have been affiliated with several private colleges in Kansas, and Baker has always been the school that is highly respected by other regional schools," Hopkins said. "For the past several years now, I have felt God calling me to return to campus ministry and when this position became available I knew I wanted to apply. Based on my memories of Baker, my higher education experience, and my passion for campus ministry I thought it would be a good fit."

His experience in campus ministry includes stints at Grace United Methodist Church in Winfield, Kan., on Southwestern College's campus and as dean of students and campus pastor at Kansas Wesleyan in Salina, Kan. He previously held faith-based leadership positions at Southern Illinois
University in Carbondale, Ill., and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

"I greatly look forward to watching Rev. Hopkins connect with our students," said Brian Posler, vice president for academic affairs and dean
of the College of Arts and Sciences. "This University has a great history of outstanding ministry, and I am confident Rev. Hopkins will continue
that tradition."

Hopkins, who earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in
Evanston, Ill., is eager to return to a campus setting.

"I embraced my calling to serve God because of my involvement in campus ministry," Hopkins said. "I have always felt called to serve on a campus
and give back. Hopefully I can help students juggle academic and social expectations while at the same time encourage them to grow in their faith.
For those students who have a faith background, I hope to encourage them to continue to grow in their faith. And for those students who are
seeking, I hope to create an open welcoming environment to ask questions."

In his role at Baker, Hopkins will lead weekly services at Osborne Chapel, the University's place of worship since 1996.

"It is vitally important to have many students involved in campus ministry," Hopkins said. "Campus ministry is their program — it is for
them. I can plan all kinds of activities and spiritual opportunities, but I value their ideas and vision for campus ministry through chapel, Bible
studies and whatever other opportunities are there for their spiritual growth. I want to build a program based on what they feel is meaningful
for their lives. I hope that through campus ministry we can equip and send graduates back into local churches as dedicated, passionate clergy and lay
people. I do feel that campus ministry can strengthen the local church."

Hopkins and his wife of 24 years, Joni, who works for the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City, have six children. The Hopkins family plans to move
to Baldwin City. Kevin's interests include running and playing basketball, Ping-Pong and racquetball. He has served as a chaplain with the Kansas Air
National Guard for 14 years and recently completed a six-month deployment to Dover Air Force Base, where he worked with Air Force Mortuary Affairs
Operations, welcoming home fallen soldiers and working with their families.

Hopkins plans to use his first month at Baker to visit with the campus community.

"I anticipate I will wear out the sidewalks on the campus as I try to meet as many faculty and staff as possible before school starts," he explained.
"I also hope to meet as many students as possible during the summer. I plan to meet with the Ambassadors and do a lot of planning and programming
for fall semester for chapel and campus ministry programs."

Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.