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John Knapp, formerly of Atlanta, named new president of Hope College

By Maria Saporta

Former Atlantan John Knapp has been named president of Hope College, a four-year liberal arts Christian college in Holland, Mi.

When he was in Atlanta, Knapp was founder of the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics in 1993. Later that evolved into the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business.

Knapp left Atlanta in 2008 to be the founding director of Samford Universities Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership in Birmingham. He also served as a professor of ethics and leadership.

John Knapp

John Knapp

The board of trustees of Hope College unanimous elected Knapp as its 12th president on March 25. He will begin his new post on July 1.

Mary Bauman, chair of the trustees, noted that Knapp is ideally qualified to build on the strengths already present at Hope, a heritage enhanced most recently under the leadership of President James Bultman, who will retire at the end of the school year after serving since 1999.

“We are thankful for the outstanding contributions of President Bultman and we believe that Dr. Knapp will build on that incredible legacy,” Bauman said.  “Dr. Knapp is the right leader for Hope College at this time in her history.  Never before has it been more important to equip our students for lives of leadership and service in a global society.”

John and Kelly Knapp

Knapp said he is excited to have the opportunity to serve as president at a college that he feels offers students the strongest combination of academic excellence and Christian character in the nation.

“In our complex global society where change seems to be the one constant, an educated person must know how to learn, think critically, take multiple perspectives and apply new knowledge,” he said.  “A Christian liberal arts education adds substantial value by helping students grapple with the greatest questions facing them and their world.”

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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