Isaac Hopkins was born in Augusta, Georgia. He attended and graduated from Emory College and later from Georgia Medical College. He served as a pastor in the methodist church as well as teaching physics and other natural sciences at various colleges in the Southeast. He also served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. In 1888 he became the first president of Georgia Tech as well as serving as the first chair and professor in the School of Physics. Upon retiring from his position as president he reaimed his time and effort at serving the church for the remainder of his life.
- Initiated the School of Technology at Emory in 1883.