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 teaching career began in 1970 at the grade school level; she has since taught at the high school and college level. In 1985 she became president of the Lakewood Community College in White Bear Lake, a predominately white, two year college in Minnesota. In 1991, Thornton became president of Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH. Cuyahoga was the first community college in Ohio, founded in 1963, and is the largest in the state. There are three campuses, two corporate locations, and over 50 off-campus sites, all serving more than 55,000 students per year. Jerry Sue Owens Thornton retired from Cuyahoga in 2013. She 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


Cited in this Entry

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

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Thornton, Jerry Sue Owens,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 19, 2020,

Last modified: 2019-08-26 22:37:16