Jim Carter, vice president of Institutional Advancement, announced Feb. 2 he will take an early leave from the University and retiring at the beginning of November 2015.
Carter’s decision was motivated by his deteriorating health.
Catherine Sivills, assistant vice president of Branding, Marketing and Communication, said this was a hard decision for Carter to make and transitioning toward retirement hasn’t been any easier.
“(Carter) poured his heart and soul into Murray State,” she said. “But in the end we knew it was the best decision for him so he could focus on his health and spend more time with his family.”
Carter’s roots at Murray State dig deep into the past, all the way back to his years here as an undergraduate.
Tab Brockman, parks director for the public parks system, said he met Carter more than 30 years ago when he decided to rush Pi Kappa Alpha at Murray State.
He said they have been good friends ever since and they bonded over a road trip out to San Francisco to attend a convention together during their undergraduate years.
“Jimmy is really one of those guys who is iconic,” Brockman said. “When you think of Murray State, one of the first names that comes to mind is Jim Carter.”
From the start of Carter’s career here, he was always heavily involved with student life.
One of the first positions he held was coordinator of student activities.
Even as his roles at the University have changed, he consistently returned to the concerns of the students.
Into his last few years at Murray State, Carter was the adviser for the Murray Bass Anglers Fishing Club, a group that he was personally fond of.
Justin Berger, president of the Murray Bass Anglers Fishing club, said he admired Carter’s dedication to improving the club as much as possible.
“He never got out on the boats with us, but he supported and encouraged us in everything we did,” Berger said. “Not just the tournaments.”
Carter’s impact stretched beyond students to his coworkers.
Jeanie Morgan, student activity adviser, said she especially enjoyed working with Carter because of his quick wit and unique sense of humor.
“He made work feel more like family for students and faculty,” she said. “With him around, it was always a fun atmosphere.”
Erin Carrico, director of the Murray Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said she moved to Murray in 2007 to work for the Convention Center under Carter. She said he was her first and, so far, only boss.
Carrico said Carter was the best boss a person could ask for, constantly available for guidance and willing to mentor anyone who needed advice.
“Jim sees the bigger picture,” she said. “He can see beyond just what’s on the table. He truly is a visionary.”
Carrico said when times were tough Carter was always there to lend a hand and offer comfort.
“Anytime there was a problem he would say ‘don’t worry, we’ll get there,’” she said.
The News reached out to Carter for comment and while he was willing, he was unable to do so due to receiving medical treatment at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Story by Mari-Alice Jasper, Assistant News Editor