Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D.

Biography of President Hopey

Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., became the eighth president of Merrimack College in 2010.

Collaborative Planning, Clear Vision

President Christopher E. Hopey
President Christopher E. Hopey received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Northeastern University.

President 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.


Infographic showing President Hopey's milestones, including 210+ full-time faculty, elevation to Division I Athletics, largest first-year class in Merrimack history, 30,000 square feet of added research space and $63.5 million raised through Together for Good campaign.

New Development

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 thousands of prospective students and families each year; and the multiuse, 45,000 spectator capacity Duane Stadium.
Merrimack College has also added the School of Nursing and Health Sciences; as well as a new hub for STEM education and research that serves as the home for the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences; 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 sponsored research in health sciences, engineering and other fields.

Commitment to Service

Likewise, 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.

Before leading Merrimack, Dr. Hopey was vice president and dean of the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University. Previously, he was vice dean at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

He served as president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts and has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Hopey is the author of numerous journal articles and a frequent speaker at national conferences. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern University.

At A Glance

  • Eighth Merrimack president
  • Appointed 2010
  • Launched and completed Together for Good campaign that raised $63.5 million to support Merrimack students
  • Previously vice president and dean, College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University
  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Wife, Cheryl Lucas; son, Christopher