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Valuable teammate retires

  Dawn Goodlove  

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 Cornell’s 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 Jordan’s 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 development laboratories.

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.

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