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Engineering professor creates scholarship in brother’s memory

- January 22, 2007

Mechanical engineering professor Eric Jordan and his family have pledged more than $25,000 to establish a new undergraduate scholarship in the School of Engineering in honor of Jordan's older brother, Allan.

They conceived of the scholarship, named the Lieutenant Allan Jordan Veterans Scholarship, as a way to honor and assist military veterans in securing a college education.

A U.S. Marine, Allan Jordan was killed in Vietnam in 1968 at the age of 25.

In establishing the scholarship, Jordan said, "People involved with veterans' issues have strong feelings, for obvious reasons, and to us it is surprising that there are so few of these types of scholarships available. It is a privilege for me to be able to help such deserving individuals to get a UConn engineering education. For individuals who make these sacrifices, no reward is more valuable."

The scholarship will be awarded to a full-time undergraduate student who qualifies for admission, and will be selected among veterans based on level of sacrifice.

Allan Jordan died in a mission to save Marines pinned down in an ambush. He crossed open ground raked by small arms fire to reach an observation hill, where he successfully spotted artillery fire that broke up the ambush, thus saving many fellow Marines.

At the very end of this mission, he was killed by mortar fire. He was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star for heroism.

A graduate of Union College, Allan Jordan was an outdoor enthusiast who particularly enjoyed challenging hikes throughout New England. He also played the drums.

For the Jordans, UConn is a family affair.

Eric Jordan, second from left, a professor of mechanical engineering, with family members, from left, Katherine, Janet, and Elizabeth
Eric Jordan, second from left, a professor of mechanical engineering, with family members, from left, Katherine, Janet, and Elizabeth. The family has established an engineering scholarship for veterans, in honor of Jordan’s brother.
Photo supplied by School of Engineering

Eric Jordan joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1979, after earning a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His wife, Janet, is manager of the Instructional Resource Center, part of the Institute for Teaching & Learning.

The couple's twin daughters, Katherine and Elizabeth, are UConn engineering graduates, though their son, currently a graduate student at MIT, completed his undergraduate degree at Penn State University.

Katherine ('05) earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering; Elizabeth ('06) completed her B.S. in materials science & engineering.

Both received academic merit scholarships while attending UConn, and this further underscored the Jordan family commitment to funding a scholarship for veterans who have risked their lives for national security.

Jordan hopes to inspire others to provide veterans with educational opportunities at UConn.

This article is reprinted from eFrontierNews, a publication of the School of Engineering.

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