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Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton

Jerry Sue Thornton
President, Cuyahoga Community College

Cuyahoga Community College is the largest and oldest community college in Ohio, and Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton has served as president since 1992. During her tenure, the college has become a leader in educational innovation, workforce training and economic development. She is recognized as “one of the 50 most influential people in Northeast Ohio.”

Prior to Cuyahoga, Thornton was president of Lakewood Community College in Minnesota. Her many leadership activities include working internationally to help develop the community college concept in the Netherlands, China, United Kingdom, Jordon and Qatar.

In the spring of 2011, Thornton was appointed co-chair of the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, a national task force convened by the American Association of Community Colleges. The commission is charged to set a bold vision for the future priorities of these institutions, with related recommendation for attaining that vision.

Recognized with many accolades, she earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Murray State University (Ky.) and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a graduate of Harvard’s Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education. She holds honorary doctorates from the College of St. Catherine (Minn.); Youngstown State University, Cleveland State University, the University of Toledo and Baldwin Wallace College, all of which are located in the State of Ohio.

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