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Hooper, William (b. 1792)

William Hooper (1792-1876), son of Helen Hogg and Hillsborough, NC, merchant William Hooper (b. 1768), was educated in the University's preparatory school. A member of the Dialectic Society while a student, Hooper graduated from the University in 1809. From 1810 to 1817 he served as the University's principal tutor, taking a year's leave during the 1812-13 academic year to study theology at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He received MA degrees from the University of North Carolina in 1812 and from the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1817. The University of North Carolina awarded him the LLD in 1833 and the DD in 1857. Hooper was professor of ancient languages at the University from 1818 to 1822, when he became pastor of St. Johns Church in Fayetteville, NC. He resigned his post in 1824 and returned to the University as professor of rhetoric and logic from 1825 to 1828, and professor of ancient languages from 1828 until 1837. Leaving the University in 1837 for the presidency of the newly formed Furman Theological Institute in South Carolina, Hooper also taught at South Carolina College, where he served for a time as acting president; at Wake Forest College, succeeding Samuel Wait as president; and at more than half a dozen schools and female seminaries in North Carolina. Ordained an Episcopal priest in 1822, Hooper held "doubts concerning the church's teaching on baptism, confirmation, and Holy Orders" and resigned in 1824 (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 3:203). He joined the Baptist church in 1831 and served as minister to several North Carolina congregations between 1847 and 1868. A prolific writer of letters and articles, Hooper also was a popular speaker, especially on the topic of improvements in education for both men and women. He married Frances Pollock Jones in 1814 and was the father of seven children. At his death, he was buried beside his mother and stepfather, Joseph Caldwell, on the University campus (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 3:202-03).