Paul A. Hickfang was a long time friend of Opera Columbus, The Ohio State University, and the wider Columbus community. A baritone and Fulbright scholar, his relationship with Opera Columbus goes back to the company’s beginnings. A long-time board member, he helped create the Cooper-Bing Competition and often invited colleagues from the Metropolitan Opera to participate as judges. His dedication to nurturing young talent extended to his role as Director of Opera and Voice at The Ohio State University. After retiring, he maintained an active private vocal studio and continued his involvement with the Cooper-Bing Competition.