Dr. Carpenter was the university's first president and literally managed the building of a school from the ground up, converting a swampy woodland into a beautiful campus. He received his undergraduate degree from Memphis State University and later earned his master's degree from Baylor University and a doctorate from the University of Florida. After holding a number of administration positions at Florida Atlantic University and the University of West Florida, he was named the first president of UNF in 1969. After 11 years, Carpenter decided to return to Memphis State University in 1980. This time he returned as the institution's president. He remained at Memphis State until 1991 when he retired. He and his wife, Margaret, now live in Blowing Rock, N.C.
Dr. Andrew Robinson was UNF's first interim president, serving for two years after the resignation of the university's first president, Dr. Thomas G. Carpenter. Robinson already had considerable experience at UNF when he was appointed interim president. He began working at UNF in 1970 when the school was still in the planning stages. He rose through administrative ranks in the College of Education and was appointed dean in 1976. He developed many contacts for the university with the Jacksonville community. He served as interim president until Curtis McCray was named president.
Dr. Curtis McCray was inaugurated as the university's third president in October 1982, the official anniversary of UNF's opening 10 years earlier. He led UNF into its second decade and emphasized controlled growth and academic excellence. He began his teaching career at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa and then moved to Saginaw Valley State College in University Center, Michigan, where he eventually became vice president of academic affairs. In 1977, he became provost and vice president for academic affairs at Governors State University near Chicago. In 1988, after seven years at UNF, McCray accepted the presidency of California State University at Long Beach, California. In 1993, McCray accepted the presidency of Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. He left Millikin in 1998 and accepted a position as president of National-Louis University in Evanston, Illinois.
The second interim president was Dr. Roy E. McTarnaghan, who served from 1988 to 1989, until Dr. Adam Herbert was appointed president. Dr. McTarnaghan was vice chancellor of academic programs at the State University System of Florida in Tallahassee, when he was appointed by the Board of Regents. He was granted a leave from his SUS post which he had accepted in 1975. He was later appointed president of Florida's newest university, Florida Gulf Coast University, and has since retired.
Dr. Herbert was a dominant force in the building of UNF during his tenure from 1989 to 1998. He held his first faculty appointment at USC in the School of Public Administration and the Center for Urban Affairs. In 1972, he accepted an appointment at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). In 1974, Dr. Herbert was selected as one of 15 White House Fellows and served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Following that assignment, he served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Undersecretary of Housing and Urban Development. In 1979 he was appointed a professor of public administration at Florida International University. Dr. Herbert resigned as UNF's president in 1998 to become chancellor of the State University System. He resigned from that position in 2001 to become the director of the newly-established Florida Center for Public Policy and Leadership on the UNF campus.
UNF's third interim president was Dr. E. K. Fretwell who assumed the post in February of 1998 after Dr. Adam Herbert was appointed chancellor of the State University System. He served until Dr. Anne Hopkins was appointed and assumed office in January of 1999. Dr. Fretwell had extensive experience as a president before coming to UNF. He led major universities in three states compiling more than 20 years of experience as a university president. His most recent post before coming to UNF was president of University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He also wrote a book about interim presidents at America's universities.
Dr. Anne H. Hopkins earned her bachelor's and master's and doctoral degrees in political science, from Syracuse University. Her career began in 1968 when she was appointed an assistant professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y. After three years, she was appointed chair of the Department of Political Science. In 1974, she became an associate professor of political science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. In 1984, she was appointed assistant provost and later vice provost. In 1990, she became vice provost for arts, sciences and engineering at the University of Minnesota. Two years later she was promoted to vice president of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. In 1995, she became provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In 2002, Hopkins resigned from her position as president and became a professor of political science at UNF.
Dr. A. David Kline came to UNF in 1996 as the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Previously, he served for six years as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York: New Paltz. Kline served from 1984 to 1990 as chair of the Department of Philosophy, 1986 to 1990 as chair of the Religious Studies Program, and from 1988 to 1990 as chair of the Bioethics Program at Iowa State University. He began his academic career as an assistant professor at Illinois State University before moving to Iowa State in 1977. Kline received his undergraduate degree in biology from Wake Forest University in 1967. He was commissioned in the United States Army as a First Lieutenant in the Medical Services Corps and served until 1970. He received a graduate degree in philosophy from Northern Illinois University in 1971. In 1976, he received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin.
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