Carol Thompson Pic
Carol Thompson
UNF Degree: MAHS '79
Employment: Civic Leader

Thompson thrives on UNF's individualized attention

 A statistics course was the last class Carol Thompson took at UNF before graduating in 1979 with a master's degree in allied health science. Although a 4.0 student, she and a few other students struggled with the traditionally challenging course. "My learning style was different and the professor understood that," she recalls. Each week, the professor spent an hour after class with Thompson and the other students helping them with the course work.

 

That experience of individualized attention was typical of the quality of instruction Thompson says she received at UNF. It also served to remind her of the type of education she helped perpetuate as chair of the UNF Board of Trustees. "The faculty understands there is more than one way to teach and more than one way to learn."

 

The time between Thompson's UNF graduation and being named to the UNF Board of Trustees encompasses a period of remarkable accomplishments. She retired recently as executive vice president at Baptist Health and president of Baptist Health Foundation after completing a "wonderful" 29-year career with the organization. While at Baptist, involvement in the community was a passion for Thompson, who in 2001 was named the first woman to serve as chair of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

 

The middle of six children, the Cincinnati native earned a nursing degree in her hometown. After moving to New York, she earned a degree in political science from City University of New York. Thompson became a head nurse and assistant director of nursing at a Bronx hospital before moving to Florida in 1977 and starting at Baptist. She held a variety of positions there, including director of education and director of nursing. Even though retired from Baptist Health, Thompson continues to serve on the organization's board.

 

She also is continuing her service on the UNF Board of Trustees, an experience she describes as "awesome." In particular she underscores the "extraordinarily gratifying" experience of selecting a new UNF president. "I take great pride in the outcome of that search. President Delaney is an incredible force at the University and in the community."

 

UNF is seen by Thompson as playing a pivotal role in the success of Jacksonville and north Florida. "This is something I've watched evolve over the years. UNF is making a huge difference in the community with the quality of its graduates and its programs."

Now with more "unscheduled" time, Thompson and her husband, Joseph, intend to participate in the Lifelong Learning program at UNF as well as continue to travel.

 

To assure others have an opportunity to study at UNF, the Thompsons have established an endowed scholarship fund at UNF for juniors and seniors majoring in nursing. They have created a similar scholarship program at Baptist.

 

"I believe UNF is a community treasure. I'm grateful to have had an opportunity to shape UNF's future because UNF has been such an important part of my past."