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
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
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
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