Upbringing Fosters International Career

As a four-year-old growing up in Nazi-occupied Denmark, Lisbeth Hopper didn’t understand the complexities of WWII. All she remembers is being hungry, cold, and scared of black boots, an aversion that stays with her still.

Marriott School photo

But avoiding black boots and Holocaust movies is all that remains of a dark and uncertain time in Hopper’s life.

After graduating from high school in Denmark, Hopper came to the United States for her secondary education. She eventually gained dual citizenship between Denmark and America, which she describes as the best of both worlds. She loves the freedoms that come with being an American and the rich Scandinavian heritage and traditions of Denmark. Her upbringing has inspired a love of foreign culture and an understanding of the differences and similarities in international business.

“I learned that the world is truly flat and we are all the same inside and out,” Hopper says. “The tiny little percentage that makes us different from country to country is what makes life so much fun!”

Hopper attended the University of Utah and Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1996 she earned an MBA from Regis University in Denver, where she added German and Latin to her language repertoire, which already included Danish and other Scandinavian languages.

After spending twenty years in commercial banking and finance, Hopper transitioned to BYU, where she assists the GMC in managing its financial operations for many different study abroad programs, student exchanges, awards, and grants.

“My favorite part is working with the international graduate students and their families through my work with the Cardon International Sponsorship Program and the International Mentoring Program,” Hopper says. “These are the most amazing opportunities I have ever had, and my work here is truly a labor of love to help students get an education and make a life for themselves.”

When she isn’t working, Hopper enjoys hiking, volunteering at BYU’s Language Training Center, and serving as president of the Danish Rebild National Park Society of Utah, an association to foster friendships between Danes and Americans by sharing cultures.

“We share our festivities with our American friends around different holidays and try to keep traditions alive for our posterity,” Hopper says. “My favorite part of the society is the chance to bring a little bit of Denmark to Utah for all those people who no longer have living relatives in Denmark and who long for a taste of home.”

Some of her international favorites include:

  • Paris as her top destination to visit
  • Baked brie with lingonberries as her number one dish
  • Babette’s Feast as her go-to foreign film
  • Carl Bloch as her favored foreign artist