Merrimack College

About President Hopey

Meet the President

When Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., became the eighth president of
Merrimack College in 2010, it was an institution on the brink of greatness. Learn more about President Hopey’s contributions to Merrimack’s era of record growth and investment in the future.

Collaborative Planning, Clear Vision

President Christopher E. HopeyPresident Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., has presided over an era of unprecedented success at Merrimack College, marked by record applications and enrollments at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, significant growth in faculty ranks, the completion of a successful major capital campaign, and transformative investment in new residence halls, academic buildings and athletics facilities.

Reflecting the college’s new spirit and identity, Merrimack is now a top-50 school in U.S. News’ regional universities in the north and one of the ten “Most Transformative” institutions in the country according to Money Magazine.

Under Dr. Hopey’s leadership, Merrimack College effectively implemented a strategic plan called the Agenda for Distinction (2010-2020) that led to the institution’s revitalization. He then built upon that success by bringing the College community together once again to develop a new strategic plan, the Agenda for the Future (2021-2026). This roadmap features three strategic directions, Growth, Mission and Impact, and to propel the College’s vision, expand its aspirations and meet its ambitious goals to play a larger role in a changing global society.

Dr. Hopey also spearheaded the celebration of Merrimack College’s 75th anniversary. The Because We Believe campaign featured events, stories and highlights of the College’s growth and accomplishments over seven and half decades.


Hover over the areas below to see a selection of milestones that Merrimack has reached during President Hopey’s tenure at the College. 


Full-time faculty has grown to more than 210 members


4,000+ undergraduate and 1,300+ graduate students


Largest first-year class in Merrimack history


Elevation to Division I Athletics


More than 30,000 square feet of added research space


$63.5 million raised through the Together For Good campaign 


Launch of the Early College Program and Pioneer Scholars at Abbott Lawrence Academy

New Development Timeline

In addition to the transformational growth of Merrimack’s reputation, Dr. Hopey has overseen the tremendous physical growth of the institution’s campus. During his tenure, more than 1 million square feet of academic and residential space has been constructed or renovated into state-of-the-art teaching, learning and living spaces. 

This includes the construction of Crowe Hall, home to the Girard School of Business; the Nursing Center; the Arcidi Center, which welcomes more than TK prospective students and families each year; and the new multiuse, 4,000 spectator capacity Duane Stadium.

Merrimack College also added the Center for Innovation and Research in Engineering and Computational Science, the institution’s new hub for STEM education and research hub, and completed a renovation and modernization of the Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher and Student Union, giving Merrimack a true campus gateway.

Funded research has grown across the institution, with national foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and NASA supporting faculty-student collaborations in health sciences, engineering and other fields.

North Residential Village exterior
August 2015
North Residential Village
These townhouse-style residences opened in August 2015 and include two- and three-bedroom suites, a common area and two full bathrooms. Students have access to three community spaces for studying and programming, as well as a common laundry room.
August 2015
Crowe Hall exterior in daylight
August 2017
Crowe Hall
This three-story, 50,000-square-foot academic pavilion houses Merrimack’s Girard School of Business and offers flexible learning environments and event space for students, faculty and staff across campus.
August 2017
Duane Stadium aerial
Oct. 2017
Duane Stadium
Duane Stadium is the College’s first new athletic facility in more than a decade. It features a multipurpose field turf surface surrounded by an eight-lane track and an adjacent patio area. Affixed atop the stadium is a press box as well as luxury suites and coaches’ suites. The complex also includes a new sound system and state-of-the-art scoreboard.
Oct. 2017
Sept. 2018
Arcidi Center
The approximately 16,000 square-foot Dr. Alfred L. Arcidi Center is located at the edge of campus off of the Elm Street entrance and houses the College’s Welcome Center and includes several conference and meeting spaces throughout the building.
Sept. 2018
Feb. 2020
Nursing Center
The state-of-the-art Nursing Center is a contemporary style structure with two floors of classrooms, study space, laboratories and faculty offices spread over 20,000 square feet. It supports a variety of health science programs for undergraduate and graduate students, including students in Merrimack's nursing major.
Feb. 2020
Sept. 2022
Center for Innovation and Research in Engineering and Computational Sciences
The Center serves as a hub for Merrimack's expanding STEM education and research infrastructure. It houses a myriad of labs, collaborative workspaces and classrooms for students and faculty to analyze, build, and problem-solve, both creatively and critically, to provide tangible solutions to real-world challenges.
Sept. 2022
Bowling Center at Merrimack College
Jan. 2023
Student Union
The Student Union adds 13,000-plus-square-feet of recreational and community center space to campus. It includes a bowling center and lounge, dedicated esports area, pool tables, golf simulator and Monica's Kitchen dining area.
Jan. 2023
College Church exterior in daylight
Jan. 2023
Renovated Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher
The renovations include a moveable altar and seating, an updated stained glass window and better accessibility, including adjustments to the main entrance of the church and the addition of an ADA-compliant elevator.
Jan. 2023

The President's Commitment to Service

The College has developed innovative partnerships to build key facilities and programs as well as reinvigorate connections with the community that speak to the College’s mission and values. 

The College’s longstanding commitment to the City of Lawrence has significantly advanced with the establishment of Hands to Help, as well as the Early College Program and Pioneer Scholars, a unique dual enrollment program that enables high school students from Lawrence to earn college credits on Merrimack’s campus and the opportunity to earn a full scholarship to Merrimack.

President Hopey: At a Glance

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