Texas Tech University

Personal Financial Planning

Dr. John Hopkins - Dr. A. William "Bill" Gustafson Distinguished Leadership Award Recipient


John Hopkins

John Hopkins came to Texas Tech in 1989 to pursue his doctorate in Finance in the College of Business.  His career path in industry included work as a CPA, followed by positions as the Director of Private Placement Investment Education with Integrated Resources Equity Corporation, wholesaler with American Residential Properties, and Senior Vice President of Marketing with August Financial Corporation.  He realized that teaching was his “calling” but didn't know that he would discover his passion across campus in the College of Human Sciences.  While interviewing at Georgia State University, he was asked, “Why are you here when the best financial planning program in the country is at Texas Tech?”  A phone call to Bill Gustafson and a meeting with Bill and Jerry Mason led to John becoming the fourth person in the financial planning department. 

When John started in the College of Human Sciences, there were 58 financial planning students.  As a member of an expanding personal financial planning faculty, he contributed to the growth of the Personal Financial Planning Department in many ways.  With the growth of the Personal Financial Planning curriculum, he developed and taught the first courses in Technology and Asset Management I, II, and III.  Vicky Hampton, Joe Toombs and he created an eight-week CFP Exam Prep class for recent graduates.  John taught a wide range of classes from Principles of Financial Planning through the Capstone course.  He was also the internship coordinator and student sponsor for the FPA Conference. 

John participated in the creation of the Financial Planning Challenge and was the sponsor for the Texas Tech teams in the competition.  He also participated in the creation of the Summer Scholars Program for faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which were starting financial planning programs. 

John was simultaneously appointed the Director of the Center for Financial Responsibility at Texas Tech and the International Foundation for Retirement Education created by David Davenport.  He worked with members of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) to initiate the development of the Certified Retirement Counselor Certification.  He also served as a content expert for the CFP Board's Examination Committee.

The most rewarding part of his time at Texas Tech, however, was the mentoring relationship he had with the students while they were in school and as graduates pursuing their careers.  Even though John has earned several degrees (BS Accounting, University of Wyoming; MS Taxation, University of Denver; Ph.D. Finance, Texas Tech University), the recognitions that he values most are the many letters, calls, and emails from his former students thanking him for his support and guidance. 

When family responsibilities called him to return to his home state of Colorado, John taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver and worked with Kaplan Financial, helping countless professionals meet the education and examination requirements for the CFP® certification.  He currently is Director of the Financial Planning program at Colorado State University where he teaches Introduction to Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Financial Plan Development, and Internships. 

John says, “Words cannot express how honored I am to receive the Dr. A. William “Bill” Gustafson Distinguished Leadership Award.  I am humbled to know that I was nominated by former students.”