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10 Questions With Bryce Jordan (Not That One)

Bryce Jordan Stevenson is a junior studying finance at Penn State and a member of the Penn State Blue Band’s drumline. If you’ve ever been to a concert or basketball game here in Happy Valley, his name is probably slightly familiar to you because of the arena that hosts those events.

The Bryce Jordan Center officially opened its doors in 1995, and it, of course, was named after former Penn State President Henry Bryce Jordan, He was the university’s 14th president from 1983 to 1990 and is known for overseeing the university joining the Big Ten at the tail end of his tenure. Jordan also played a key role in securing the funding needed to build the arena that bears his name, so it’s clear that the junior from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania has a pretty important namesake to live up to.

With that in mind, we decided to sit down with Bryce Jordan and find out what it’s like to have an arena named after you… kinda.

Onward State: Alright, elephant in the room: What’s it like to have your name be the same as the arena on campus?

Bryce Jordan: Honestly, it’s the best icebreaker up here — and with anyone who knows the reference in general. I came from a Commonwealth campus, and there really weren’t too many people who understood the reference. It’s nice to have people know it right off the bat here at University Park, though.

OS: Off the top of your head, do you know who “the real” Bryce Jordan is?

BJ: Of course! He was the 14th president of Penn State, and the Bryce Jordan Center is named after him. He was mainly responsible for getting the funding to build it. I have read his commemorative plaque in the BJC many times.

OS: How many people have asked you if you’re related to Bryce Jordan, and how many people have been confused about your name being the same as the arena’s?

BJ: Actually, more people don’t believe me at first than anything else. I have to make sure I have my ID to correct the non-believers.

OS: Do you remember the first time you found out there was an arena called the Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus?

BJ: I come from a very intense, Penn State-loving family — my dad’s an alum. You have no idea how many pictures my family has of me sitting on the basketball court where it says “Bryce Jordan Center.”

OS: How many times have you seen a show/sport at the Bryce Jordan Center, and which of those was your favorite?

BJ: Many times! I have seen both concerts and basketball games, and my favorite thing to see used to be Tailgreat, which was a sort of pep rally before home football games. Unfortunately, they no longer do it, but they have the Blue Band Bandorama — which was awesome to see, but even more awesome to be a part of.

OS: If you could pick one artist to perform at the Bryce Jordan Center, who would you choose and why?

BJ: The Jonas Brothers — again.

OS: Where does, in your opinion, the Bryce Jordan Center rank among Penn State’s various sporting venues?

BJ: The BJC is second only to Beaver Stadium, in my opinion.

OS: Why did you choose to attend Penn State?

BJ: It wasn’t that I had to choose to come here, but it’s where I knew I was going to go. I only applied to Penn State, and it was a dream come true to have been accepted.

OS: How have you gotten involved at Penn State?

BJ: At my Commonwealth campus I was part of the Student Government Association, THON, and various other clubs. Now that I am at University Park, I auditioned and made it into the Penn State Blue Band’s drumline.

OS: As per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which would you be and why?

BJ: Velociraptor. They seem to be the coolest to me. They were apex predators and were among the dinosaurs of the highest intelligence level.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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