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Former Penn State President Bryce Jordan Passes Away At The Age Of 91

Henry Bryce Jordan, the 14th president of Penn State and namesake of the Bryce Jordan Center passed away yesterday at the age of 91.

His wife, Barbara, who is a former reporter and editor for the Centre Daily Times, confirmed to the newspaper that he passed away quietly in his home.

Jordan served as Penn State’s president from 1983 to 1990. His tenure is highlighted by Penn State’s admission into the Big Ten conference, the opening of Innovation Park, and the successful completion of the university’s first major fundraising campaign, which raised $352 million over four years.

“The fact was, there was no tradition among public universities at that time for raising private funds. Some people were pessimistic about our chances of success. (Former Penn State President) Eric Walker, for example, whom I admired, didn’t think we could raise even a million dollars,” Jordan said in a 2005 interview looking back at his presidency.

Jordan held numerous high-profile academic positions throughout his life, including periods at Hardin-Simmons University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Maryland, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Texas at Austin, his alma mater, including a stint as its interim president and as President of the University of Texas at Dallas.

“Bryce Jordan’s positive impact and presence at Penn State has been profound and lasting,” President Barron said in a Penn State obituary. “He played a critical role in advancing the University’s development as national leader in research; oversaw the launch the University’s first fundraising campaign focused on raising funding for scholarships, endowed positions and other improvements; and played a leading role in Penn State’s entry into the Big Ten, joining a group of the world’s elite institutions of higher education. We are truly lucky as an institution to have had the benefit of Bryce Jordan’s leadership and presence in our community, and he will be missed.”

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About the Author

Katie Klodowski

Katie is a senior from Pittsburgh, PA and a retired editor at Onward State. Currently, she works as a staff writer. True to her hometown, she is a fan of Steel City sports but also uses her ballet and music training to be a tough critic of all things artsy. The fastest ways to her heart are through pizza, sushi, and a solid taste in music (this means no Taylor Swift). To be constantly razzle-dazzled, follow her on all social media forms at @KatieKlodowski


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