Professor of English, 1864-1867
(This series of Notable Faculty profiles was written in celebration Augustana's sesquicentennial in 2009.)
The year 1863 was one of great change and instability for Augustana College. Having just moved from Chicago to Paxton, Ill., the 3-year-old school had an unsure future. T.N. Hasselquist, the second president of the school, had just succeeded Lars Paul Esbjörn, and the school was in dire need of funding and teachers.
During the 1863 school year, Hasselquist taught all 16 courses offered by the school, as well as tending to his administrative duties. Finally, in 1864, William A. Passavant, a highly influential American Lutheran pastor and supporter of the Augustana Synod, recommended the Rev. William Kopp for a teaching position at Augustana.
Kopp was a graduate of Gettysburg College and was present at the Synod meeting in 1864. He began teaching English in 1864 with a salary of $600. Kopp was reported to be quite amiable and a good teacher by the 15 students enrolled at Augustana; however, he often suffered from poor health.
In 1867, his failing health forced his retirement. After Kopp left, the Synod turned once again to Passavant to find new English professor. The Rev. Sidney L. Harkey replaced Kopp in 1868.