Tribune exclusive: Q & A with Dr. Kimberly Thornbury


Manhattan, NEW YORK--Kimberly Thornbury has been busy these last few months--so busy, in fact, that it took over two weeks for me to secure a meeting with her. Thornbury moved from Tennessee to New York City and began her job at The King’s College as the Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning alongside her husband, the school’s sixth president Gregory Thornbury, all while raising two kids. And the amazing thing is that she does it all with a smile and sense of eagerness. I had the opportunity to sit down with Thornbury to talk about how her first semester at King’s has been going so far. Q: You’re the special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning. What exactly does that job entail?

A: Right now we don’t have a Vice President for Academic Administration and we don’t have a Vice President for Development, and the President has a lot of responsibilities, and I help him move initiatives forward. Everything from speakers to job description and select hires hires to strategic planning, donor and trustee events. I serve on the executive team. We’re beginning strategic planning. The campus of course will also be involved in that.

Q: What is it that attracted you and your husband to King's?

A: We love King’s. I just want to say we love King’s, and we were very happy at Union. We weren’t looking to move. But when the opportunity unexpectedly came open we seriously considered applying because we love the mission of King’s and we love its strategic placement in New York City and we felt it was an excellent fit for President Thornbury’s gifts and passions.

Q: What are your goals for the school year?

A: My goals are to get to know the campus, students, faculty and staff. And as Greg said, ‘to hit the ground listening,’ so we can understand the student culture.

Q: How are you adjusting to life in New York City?

A: I love New York City. We live on the Upper West Side with our two daughters Kate (12) and Caroline (10). I grew up twenty minutes away from the city so it feels like sort of a homecoming for me after twenty years of being in the South.

Q: How would you like to see King’s grow in the next few years?

A: I don’t understand why there’s not a thousand plus students her because [King’s is] not for everyone, but for the right student it’s perfect. We offer what no other college offers and I’m proud to represent it.

Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your job so far?

A. First of all I really want to say I’ve really enjoyed it here. I’ve enjoyed diving in, getting to know the faculty and staff, learning, and helping out. I can’t really think of anything that’s too challenging. I’m pretty happy.

Q: The most rewarding aspect?

A: The most rewarding is certainly getting to know the students, faculty, and staff. They’ve exceeded my already high expectations. They’ve been hospitable, warm, and very grateful, and I don’t want to take that for granted.

Q: Is there anything further you’d like to add?

A: Just that again Greg and I are so grateful to be here and thankful for opportunity to serve. We feel very hopeful about the years ahead. We continue to pray for God’s blessings on this community.