Dr. Harlow Hopkins honored by Bradley-Bourbonnais Rotary Club

Musician, Educator, Rotarian.

On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, Olivet Nazarene University and the Rotary Club of Bradley-Bourbonnais jointly honored Dr. Harlow Hopkins with a luncheon and the installation of a sculpture of a clarinet in Larsen Fine Arts Center. 

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The luncheon served as the Rotary’s weekly meeting and many members of the club were in attendance to celebrate, including guest of honor Dr. Hopkins and his wife, Harriet. Also in attendance were University President John C. Bowling; Bradley-Bourbonnais Rotary Club President, Mrs. Jean Koehler; members of Olivet’s administrative team; Professor Bill Greiner who oversaw the installation of the sculpture; and current faculty members of the School of Music. 

The sculpture was created by local artist, Mr. Andrew Palmer. Titled “The Music Maker,” the clarinet is formed from copper that was aged with jeweler’s oxidation fluid to develop a blackened patina. The keys are made with poured, colorful resin to create a stained-glass look. Of the work and its reflection of Dr. Hopkins’s musical legacy, Mr. Palmer says, “The colors are beautiful individually, but with the right conductor, in the right light, they can harmoniously blend together.”

Dr. Hopkins began playing the clarinet at age 11 and continued for 69 years. Feeling called to share his passion for music, he served as a member of the Olivet faculty for 41 years, including 29 years as the Chair of the Department of Music. 

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With a strong desire to continuously learn and grow, Dr. Hopkins joined the Bradley-Bourbonnais Rotary Club in 1981, hoping to meet community members outside of his normal circle of influence. Rotarian and project coordinator, Mr. Steve Hill reflected on Dr. Hopkins’ involvement, “Over the decades, Harlow and Harriet have quietly impacted the community and so many different lives. Harlow truly is one of God’s sweet songs and the lives of so many have been blessed through him.”

Early into his involvement with Rotary, Dr. Hopkins assumed the role of editor and publisher of the club’s weekly news-letter, the Sprocket. Every week for almost 38 years, readers have enjoyed Dr. Hopkins’ articles on the local, national and international achievements of Rotary, as well as glimpsed his fun-loving nature with his addition of humorous quips and jokes. 

Dr. Don Reddick, chair of the School of Music gave the closing remarks at the luncheon, addressing Dr. Hopkins: “I aspire to live my life as you have lived, to have the relationship you have with our Savior, and to hopefully be a blessing to others in a similar manner to what you have been to me and many. Whether it’s legend, mentor, or friend, today I call you ‘hero.’”

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Of being recognized, Dr. Hopkins says, “Olivet and Rotary Club have greatly enriched my life. To be so honored by both Olivet and Rotary is beyond belief. My deepest thanks to all of you.”

The sculpture will be on permanent display in Larsen Fine Arts Center.

For more information about the School of Music, and other areas of study, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Published 5/15/19