By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)
This month’s spotlight shines on two alumni who have spent most of their adult lives in Fort Collins and have supported and improved the campus and community in an amazing number of ways.
Donn started his career in Wyoming with the Laramie Police Department. After achieving the rank of sergeant, he joined the Fort Collins Police Department in 1974, where he worked as a detective and in community policing, becoming a lieutenant. Among his activities was working on a domestic abuse project that led to the initial funding for Crossroads Safehouse.
In 1985, Donn became the second person to hold the position of CSU Police Chief. Policing a campus is different than policing a city. He gave talks to incoming students at orientation, telling them the police were there “to keep you safe, healthy, and in school.” He also was involved with the student discipline team, whose goal was improved behavior and keeping students out of the court system. Among the many challenges he faced while chief were dealing with issues surrounding College Days and the devastating 1997 flood. He worked the Rolling Stones and Beach Boys concerts at Hughes Stadium and received CSU’s Pennock Distinguished Service Award in 1992. He spent the last 10 years of his career as physical security manager at Agilent Technologies, initially for northern Colorado and eventually for 63 sites throughout the North and South America.
After earning her degree at CSU, Linda worked at Fort Collins City Hall for 15 years in a variety of roles, ending in the City Manager’s office in charge of economic development. Among her many accomplishments was helping to raise funds to build Larimer Community Services Center. She has spent the last 25 years with The Group real estate firm, first helping with development projects and later becoming an agent. One activity she loved was doing area tours for individuals interviewing for CSU faculty jobs. Among the awards she has received are Realtor of the Year, Citizen of the Year for the Board of Realtors, and Philanthropist of the Year for WomenGive.
The couple is engaged with the community. Both were involved in Leadership Fort Collins. Donn volunteered with the Community Foundation, Community Corrections Board, and City Transportation Board. He currently serves on the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery board and as a member of the Community Foundation committee. Linda served on the Front Range Community College advisory board, Wells Fargo Bank board, Chamber of Commerce board, Biz West editorial board, and Poudre River Library Trust. She also chaired United Way. In 2019, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery named Linda and Donn “Community Ambassadors.”
The Hopkins have many ties to CSU. Linda’s father, Dick Stevens, served as reference librarian. Their children are alumni – James Chance (B.A., ’00), Marc Hopkins (B.S., ’98), and Todd (B.A., ’97) and daughter-in-law Amber Hopkins (B.S., ’97). Their daughter-in-law Denise worked for CSU Extension. Their personal ties continue through Alumni Association membership: “The functions are tremendous and provide an opportunity to meet other wonderful alumni. Membership is the logical extension of attending CSU; it cements bonds, loyalties, and relationships. Besides, who could resist Kristi Bohlender?” The Hopkins, like our executive director, are engaging and stalwart Rams!