175 Makers of History: Isaac Stiles Hopkins

Isaac Stiles Hopkins 1859C 1883H
President of Emory; First President of Georgia Institute of Technology

Isaac Hopkins

Earning a medical degree after graduating from Emory, Isaac Stiles Hopkins passed up medicine to enter the Methodist ministry.

In 1869, he was called to the chair of natural science at Emory. Hopkins had an avocational interest in wood- and machine-shop work, and he built a small shop behind his home in Oxford. His address to alumni in 1883 summarized the poor state of technical education and argued for such a program at Emory. When he became Emory's ninth president in 1884, he was able to launch the new program.

Hopkins's advocacy of technical education appealed to business and educational leaders in Georgia, and when the state chartered a school of technology, he was widely mentioned as a possible president. In April 1888, Hopkins was elected president of the new Georgia School of Technology.