*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.
As we continue the series, “Passing the Torch”, we focus on USI’s second president, Dr. H. Ray Hoops. After the retirement of the first president, there were some big shoes to fill. This was a prominent theme as Dr. Hoops started his presidency at USI. Just like Dr. David L. Rice left his footprint, Dr. Hoops filled the shoes and pushed USI into the next millennium.
Dr. Hoops graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1962 with a B.S. in speech communication; however, he went to Purdue University and graduated with his M.S. (1962) and Ph.D. (1964) in audiology and speech sciences. His academic career began in 1966 at Wayne State University as a professor until 1975. He worked for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and was a research scholar at the University of the Philippines (Harris, 1994a).
After working overseas, Hoops served numerous administration positions at the University of Northern Iowa (1975-1980), North Dakota State University (1980-1985), Oregon State System of Higher Education (1985-1988), and University of Mississippi (1988-1994). During his tenure at Ole Miss, Hoops had a proven record of accomplishment for “… racial diversity and cultural diversity [such as] a 50 percent increase in the number of minority faculty and appointment of the first female dean at the institution” (Harris, 1994b).
During the Hoops presidency at USI, the student body increased by 25 percent and numerous building expansions and additions occurred, such as the UC expansion, new David L. Rice Library, Liberal Arts Center, creation of the Quad, and many more. Dr. Hoops announced his retirement would occur on June 30, 2009, after a forty-year career in education (Weyer, 2008). On February 9, 2009, Linda Bennett became USI’s third president (Grundhoeffer, 2009).
At the University Archives and Special Collections, all of the past Shield newspapers are available upon request. The department is hour Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM and digital content is available at http://digitalarchives.usi.edu/.
Grundhoeffer, S. (2009, February 9). Bennett named USI’s third president. The Shield, p. 1.
Harris, B. (1994, September 1). Midwest values taught president to appreciate hard work. The Shield, p. 1.
Harris, B. (1994, September 8). Diversity was hallmark of Hoops’ time at Ole Miss. The Shield, p. 1.
Weyer, B. (17, Janaury 17). President Hoops retires. The Shield, p. 1.