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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
The second interim president was Dr. Roy E. McTarnaghan, who served from 1988 to 1989, until Dr. Adam Herbert was appointed president.
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. 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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