Video: Judge Jeffery Hopkins ’82 on the Value of Education (United States Courts)

As part of the United States Courts “Pathways to the Bench” profile series, federal judge Jeffery Hopkins ’82 shares his inspiring story about the power and value of education.


  1. Terence Trow, MD says:

    Wonderful to hear Jeff’s story much of which I did not know despite being his classmate! He was my catcher on JV Baseball team in 1979! Great to hear of his success! Bravo!

  2. Jordan Van Voast '81 says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Growing up in Maine as a white person and attending Bowdoin, I had little exposure or awareness of issues of racial discrimination or white privilege. Judge Hopkins’ story of his childhood, poignantly reveals the painful legacy of institutional racism that affects – in varying degrees – all people of color in America. At the Beta house in the late 70’s, I just thought Jeff was a great athlete and super nice guy, but never paused to imagine what he witnessed in his childhood, growing up in the south during the 60s and 70s.

    As much as many would have us believe, the election of President Obama has not magically catapulted us into a post-racial society. Now, with the constitutionality of affirmative action being reconsidered by our right leaning Supreme Court, I fear our nation is poised to take a giant backward step. Of course, the ultimate healing of institutional racism in our country does not hinge upon decisions from any judicial bench, but from deepening our own awareness of privilege and oppression, and taking personal responsibility, by working toward a more just society in whatever community sphere of activity one is involved with.

    Good to see you again Jeff!

  3. Steve Rogers says:

    Proof that good things happen to good people! I agree with my those above, I was naive, only knowing “Hoppy” as a great, pleasant guy at Bowdoin, not realizing his personal history. Now being a principal in a diverse middle school, I will be able to use his story as one of determination and follow through, letting kids know that education can help open doors for you. Thanks Jeffrey for sharing!

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