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Oxford Native Pat Hopson to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Mississippi is coming to Hattiesburg as Sales and Marketing Professionals announces its first-ever Humanitarian honorees, in conjunction with The Mississippi Pinnacle Awards.

Pat Hopson will receive the highest humanitarian honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo provided

Oxford native Pat Hopson will receive the highest humanitarian honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Mississippi has always been known as the Hospitality State. Doing for others is in our genetic makeup. As we raise scholarship dollars for the next generation of marketers, we want to also recognize those practitioners who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to strengthen Mississippi communities,” said Michael Marks, Chair of the statewide awards.

Humanitarian Award honorees will be formally presented at an awards gala to take place at Lake Terrace Convention Center on Tuesday night, April 11 in Hattiesburg. The black-tie event will celebrate the accomplishments of statewide finalists before naming the 2023 Mississippi Pinnacle Awards winners.

The Mississippi Pinnacle Awards honor excellence, professionalism, and outstanding achievement in sales, marketing, and community engagement and showcase the highest level of public relations talent in the state.

Hopson, a native Mississippian born in Oxford, has been a leader in Mississippi art, entertainment, education, business, and philanthropy for decades.

Along with her husband the late Dr. Briggs Hopson, Jr. who was a former president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association, the three-time Emmy-award-winning former producer of the Miss Mississippi Pageant live television show established Mississippi as the first in the nation in Miss America cash scholarships by awarding millions of dollars to educate Mississippi young women.

Rebecca Pruett Denham, Assistant District Attorney for the 12th District of Mississippi, knows first-hand the value of Hopson’s mentorship.

“She was a constant source of empowerment and hope for me during my time as Miss Mississippi,” Denham said. “I would not have won the talent competition at Miss America or placed as a quarter-finalist without her guidance. Pat has a gift for seeing potential in others and bringing the best version to the surface. She has helped so many young women achieve their career goals. This is her legacy.”

Hopson began a stint of over 40 years of volunteer pageant work and love which began as a hostess and, eventually, Miss America Franchise Holder, Miss Mississippi Vice-President and Executive Producer of the live television production seen statewide and streamed nationwide. Her shows were nominated eight times and won three Emmys.

Sam Haskell lives in Hopson’s hometown, Oxford. The Emmy-winning producer for Warner Brothers, Discovery Television sings Hopson’s praises.

“Pat Hopson exemplifies and understands the power in giving to others and sharing her blessings. Her Emmy-Award winning productions have brought national attention to the City of Vicksburg and the Great State of Mississippi,” Haskell said.

Having studied art and education at the University of Memphis, Ole Miss, the Memphis Academy of Art, and Mississippi College under Dr. Sam Gore, Hopson remains dedicated to and actively supports both the Dr. Briggs Hopson Jr. Medical Scholarship at the Miss Mississippi Corporation, and the Pat Hopson Art Scholarship at Ole Miss.

Hopson is retired as President and designer of Pat Hopson Swimsuits.

Over the years she has volunteered with Crawford Street United Methodist Church, Committee for the Mississippi Dresden Exhibit, First International Ballet Committee, Charter Member Vicksburg Convention Center Advisory Board, First Ole Miss Drive for Athletics Committee, Chair Fordice Inaugural Governor’s Mansion Reception for 10,000 attendees, Designing Consultant for Mississippi First Lady’s Inaugural Gown, Historical Consultant for Robert Dafford River Mural on Vicksburg Waterfront, Mississippi’s 12 Outstanding Women, 40-Year Miss America Volunteer Award Mississippi State Medical Alliance, President West Mississippi Medical Alliance, Life Member Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary, and Life Member Ole Miss Alumni Association.

Hopson’s adult children are Realtor Karen Hopson Hall, Mississippi Senate Appropriations Chair Briggs Hopson III, AmeriCorps NCCC Regional Director Kathy Hopson Ricks and University Football Coach Jay Hopson.

Staff report

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