Thornton Named ‘President Emeritus’,
IA Building to be Named ‘Thornton Center’
By Bronson Peshlakai
Metro Campus Editor-in-Chief
WESTSHORE CAMPUS — As President Alex Johnson takes over the reigns as the fourth president of Cuyahoga Community College, Jerry Sue Thornton’s plan to retire after more than 21 years will still keep her in touch with the college’s Tri-C Foundation. Thornton was also named the “president emeritus” of Tri-C.
“It has been a privilege and joy to work collectively and constructively toward our student success goals,” Thornton told the college board of trustees during her last meeting as president. “I feel blessed that I have had a dream career at Cuyahoga Community College and retire from the presidential position with much satisfaction.”
The board voted unanimously to offer Thornton the honorary title “president emeritus,” the first time the title has been offered to an outgoing president, said Board Chair Jerry Kelsheimer.
Board members also unanimously approved the Institutional Advancement building to be named the “Thornton Center” effective immediately. The Thornton Center is situated at East 22nd Street and Community College Avenue, one block west of the Metropolitan Campus. The building is shared with the Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio and houses Tri-C’s marketing department, among other supporting departments.
Thornton will remain as an active member on the Tri-C Foundation Board. She was also recognized in raising more than $10 million in scholarship dollars for Tri-C students with her annual Presidential Scholarship Luncheon.
Thornton started the luncheon in her inaugural year in 1992. The luncheon is known for its critically acclaimed national and international keynote speakers making the luncheon one of the most sought-after social events in the Cleveland-area business and civic communities.
Among the speakers booked at luncheon events: Former U.S. secretary of states Gen. Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright, Former Great Britain Prime Minister Tony Blair, network news anchors Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, Bob Costas, Sam Donaldson, Ed Bradley, Cokie Roberts, and Oprah Winfrey.
Towards the end of the June 27th board of trustees meeting, some board members gave emotional last words to their outgoing president.
“I’m really, really proud of what you have done,” said Board Chair Jerry Kelsheimer.