From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Thornton, Jerry Sue Owens

(born: 1947) 

Jerry Sue Owens Thornton, born in Earlington, KY, is an educator. Her career began in 1970 as a grade-school teacher; she has since taught high school and college.

In 1985 she became president of the Lakewood Community College in White Bear Lake, MN, a predominately white, two-year college. In 1991, Thornton became president of Cuyahoga Community College , founded in 1963 in Cleveland, OH,  the first  and largest community college in Ohio. It is made up of three campuses, with two corporate locations and over 50 off-campus sites, all serving more than 55,000 students per year. Thornton retired from Cuyahoga in 2013.

Jerry Sue Thornton is a two-time graduate of Murray State University and earned her Ph.D. at the University of Texas in 1983.

For more see J. Funk, "CCC's president to get a model contract," The Plain Dealer, 12/30/1991, Metro section, p.  1B; "Jerry Sue Owens" in Who's Who Among African Americans (22nd ed., 2008); and "Meet Higher Education Leader and College President Mentor Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton," a Barnes & Noble webpage.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Hopkins County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Earlington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Plain dealer, The (newspaper) (Cleveland)
NKAA Source: Who's who among African Americans

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Thornton, Jerry Sue Owens,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-10-30 20:07:43