In Memoriam: Dr. Lawrence D. “Larry” Hopkins ’70

Lees-McRae College is saddened by the loss of Dr. Larry Hopkins ’70, an Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 1977 inductee and Board of Trustee member, who passed away on Monday morning at the age of 70.

“Dr. Hopkins represented everything we talk about wanting our student-athletes to be: engaging, active, service-oriented, dedicated, and compassionate,” said Vice President for Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail. “To know him was special; we are proud to have him included in our Hall of Fame. He often shared how Lees-McRae College shaped him for future success. His humility showed through his work and we are all very grateful for his far-reaching impact.”

A 1970 graduate of Lees-McRae, Hopkins was a two-year member of the Bobcat’s junior college football program and was the standout fullback on the 1968 team, which represented Lees-McRae College at the El Toro Bowl in Yuma, Arizona. Known for being a power running back, Hopkins led the region and was 15th in the nation in rushing during his sophomore season, and set a school single-game record for rushing yards in 1969.

After spending two seasons in Banner Elk, Hopkins transferred to Wake Forest University and notched his name into the record books by breaking the school’s single-season rushing record with 111.6 yards-per-game in 1971. In 1988, Hopkins was inducted into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame.

Hopkins remained active in his service to Lees-McRae College until his passing, serving on the Board of Trustees for the past 10 years. His support was instrumental in building a state-of-the-art film room in Williams Gymnasium, and he was an annual Diamond Member of the Bobcat Club.

“Dr. Hopkins is a Lees-McRae Legend,” said President Lee King. “As a student he set standards for academic and athletic accomplishments. As a trustee and supporter, he embodied a life of service without seeking attention or glory. He will be greatly missed by this community.”

After earning his associate degree from Lees-McRae and his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest, Hopkins earned his medical degree at Bowman Gray School of Medicine (now Wake Forest School of Medicine) in 1977. In addition to becoming a well-known doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, Hopkins was awarded the Medallion of Merit, the highest honor given by Wake Forest University, in recognition for his years of service to the university and the Winston-Salem community.

Hopkins is survived by his wife Beth, his children Michelle and David, and his grandchildren.  

By Patrick SmithNovember 11, 2020