President Les Garner (left) congratulates
chemistry professor Truman Jordan, who
received emeritus status at commencement in June.
A loyal member of the United Methodist Church, chemistry professor
emeritus Truman Jordan understands what it means to have a savior.
During his 36 years at Cornell, he came to the rescue of students
who were overwhelmed by a chemistry lab, offering kind words and
encouragement. As Cornells first director of academic computing,
he helped lead is colleagues out of the dark ages of typewriters.
And he had a major role in saving the entire institution by chairing
the committee that recommended the One-Course-At-A-Time calendar.
Truman flourishes in the face of challenge. It brings out
his energy, it evokes his passion; it is the most inspiring feature
of his personality, former religion professor David Weddle
said at Jordans retirement dinner in May. They team-taught
a medical ethics course for 20 years.
Jordan is a fierce competitor in a variety of sports, including
intramural softball and racquetball matches with colleagues at Cornell,
and in community tennis tournaments.
He also has a winning record securing National Institutes of Health
and National Science Foundation grants, which helped him provide
summer opportunities in his research lab to numerous students. Cathy
Chambers Brady 72 spent a summer researching how stannous
fluoride inhibits tooth decay. I fell in love with chemistry
and the scientific method in your class, and that has made all the
difference in my life, she wrote him last spring. She works
for a food packaging firm, Amcor White Cap, as manager of the analytical/material
In retirement, Jordan plans to continue publishing his research
in dental chemistry, and this year he will team-teach a Cornell
chemistry course with associate professor Cynthia Strong.