Lorenzo Hopper ’10, ’20 (Ph.D.), now an assistant professor of public health at UNC Charlotte, said he will never forget the day in 2006 that he learned he would receive financial help from the Carolina Covenant. He was at home with his family in Shelby, North Carolina, and he opened a letter from Carolina that delivered the good news.
“Those videos you see of students opening a letter and the whole family going crazy — that was us,” he said. “We celebrated like no other. Going to Carolina was suddenly a reality.”
After he had been accepted to Carolina earlier in the year, Hopper and his mother, a shift worker at a distribution company, had met with college counselors to figure out how to get financial assistance for tuition and expenses. Now, he knew that the cost of his studies would be covered through the Carolina Covenant.
Hopper credits the Covenant for helping him feel less burdened by finances and able to immerse more fully in extracurricular life at Carolina. He served as a resident advisor and an orientation leader, and joined the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, becoming chapter president. As a senior, he was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece.
“The Carolina Covenant allowed me to do what every college student should be able to do: focus on academics and extracurriculars instead of wondering where money will come from to pay for books, food and housing.”
After majoring in chemistry as an undergraduate, Hopper earned a doctorate from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2020. At UNC Charlotte, his research focuses on men’s health and fatherhood, and he is director of the Master of Public Health Program. He has also established an organization to support first-generation college students.