Services set for Dr. Carolyn Thompson, wife of UTC Chancellor
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Here is the obituary for Dr. Carolyn Thompson, wife of UTC Chancellor Dr. Roger Brown, provided by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga:
Dr. Carolyn Thompson, wife and partner of UTC Chancellor Roger Brown, died on March 2, 2012 following an extended illness. Dr. Thompson was diagnosed in 2011 with myelofibrosis, a cancer of the bone marrow.
During her months of aggressive treatment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Carolyn's determination and her sense of humor never flagged. Family, friends and the UTC community were able to follow her progress and send messages of encouragement in response to her candid, funny posts on an Internet blog.
At UTC, Carolyn maintained a close relationship with a variety of student groups, including the Chancellor's Ambassadors—a group which she helped form—University Honors, the Student Government Association, and varsity athletes. Students, alumni, faculty and staff groups were welcomed into the Chancellor's Lookout Mountain home on many occasions. She was actively involved with the board of the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure, hosted annually on the UTC campus, and this past year, she served as Co-Chair of the UTC 125th Anniversary Celebration.
"The entire University of Tennessee family is deeply saddened by the death of Carolyn Thompson. As UT Chattanooga's First Lady, she has played a vital role in every aspect of campus life. She was wonderfully engaged and brought energy and great ideas to her support for the UTC mission," said UT President Dr. Joe DiPietro. "She faced her illness with a spirit that has been a constant encouragement to us all. She will be greatly missed, and the legacy and memory she leaves will be treasured. Our thoughts are with her family and with the UT Chattanooga campus community."
A native of Worcester, Mass., Carolyn earned the B.A. from Emmanuel College, Boston, Mass.; she received the M.S.W. from St. Louis University and the Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.
During her career, she served as Medical Social Worker, UCLA Medical Center; director of Social Work Training, Kennedy Kreiger Institute, Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital; and Chair of the Department of Social Work, Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, North Carolina. She established the Master of Health Administration Degree Program at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she was professor of Health Administration.
Carolyn was later named professor and founding dean of the Honors College at University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where she recruited and mentored first generation college students, many of them female students who had never been beyond the county line of their rural North Carolina homes.
Carolyn was delighted to learn she would receive the 2012 "Unbossed and Unbought" award from Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga, honoring "women in the greater Chattanooga area who through their career achievements or community leadership have had significant impact in improving the lives of girls and women."
As a nonprofit strategic planning consultant, she assisted the Women's Leadership Institute, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Friends of the Festival, Hunter Museum of American Art and the United Way of Greater Chattanooga.
Carolyn served on the boards of several community organizations and institutions, including Memorial Healthcare System, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Community Impact, Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, and Friends of Moccasin Bend. She has been a volunteer for the National Park Service at Point Park on Lookout Mountain.
She held membership in Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society, Phi Gamma Delta International Honorary Society and Pi Alpha Alpha Public Administration Honorary Society. Carolyn's greatest pride came in the accomplishments of her children. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Roger Brown; a daughter, Caroline Thompson of Los Angeles, Ca.; a son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Austin Thompson and Mash Hes, both of Greenville, N.C. Carolyn and Roger are also loving caregivers of "Madeleine Albright" of the Lookout Mountain canine patrol, a 13-year-old rescued Husky mix who enjoys diplomatic immunity.
Services will be held on Tuesday, March 6, at 10 a.m. at Patten Chapel on the UTC campus with The Reverend John Talbird, Jr. officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Carolyn's honor to: The Mary Finnegan Rinkus Endowed Scholarship, UTC Office of Development, Dept. 6806, 615 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga TN. 37403; The Women's Fund, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, 1270 Market Street, Chattanooga TN. 37402, or Hospice of Chattanooga, 4411 Oakwood Drive, Chattanooga, TN. 37416.
Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort with the family and view the memorial tribute.