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Getting congressional approval

By Cory Phare

Apr. 20, 2017

MSU Denver President Stephen M. Jordan (standing left) receives accolades in the Colorado State Senate chambers for his service to the University. Jordan was honored by the Legislature on April 19, 2017.
MSU Denver President Stephen M. Jordan (standing left) receives accolades in the Colorado State Senate chambers for his service to the University. Jordan was honored by the Legislature on April 19, 2017.

We know that President Stephen Jordan has built a legacy of transformation here on campus. Turns out, the legacy also is one that stretches to the Colorado State Capitol– and well beyond.

Jordan was honored Wednesday by leaders in both the State Senate and House of Representatives, who extolled the growth and impact of MSU Denver under his leadership. He was accompanied by his wife Ruthie, son Ross, Trustee Barbara Grogan, and Chief of Staff Cathy Lucas.

“He’s opened doors for innumerable students, especially for those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to higher education,” said Nancy Todd, state senator from Aurora, who kicked off the tribute on the Senate floor. “We’re thrilled to be able to recognize him and say thank you.”

“And now he has the audacity to say he’s going to retire!” she joked.

A procession of four senators then took the opportunity to acknowledge the strides taken by MSU Denver during Jordan’s tenure. Remarks noted his initiative to recruit and retain students of color, to achieve University status, the work toward HSI designation, establishing the School of Education, and numerous public-private partnerships – such as the Hospitality Learning Center, which Todd pointed out hosted legislative leaders kicking off a recent session.

State Senator Nancy Todd (left) joins Dr. Jordan and his wife, Ruthie, during the Colorado Legislature’s ceremony that honored him for his 12 years of service to MSU Denver.
State Senator Nancy Todd (left) joins Dr. Jordan and his wife, Ruthie, during the Colorado Legislature’s ceremony that honored him for his 12 years of service to MSU Denver.

Afterward, Jordan was recognized in the House of Representatives chamber by Speaker Crisanta Duran.

“With his leaving, any new leader would have big shoes to fill,” said Duran. “It’s appropriate that we recognize his work of putting MSU Denver on the path to become the preeminent public urban university since 2005.”

She discussed the transformative opportunities Jordan has spearheaded, such as increasing the number of degrees conferred (resulting in 33 percent of all Roadrunner alums graduating during his tenure), as well as leading the way for undocumented students with advocacy for the ASSET bill.

“He has also worked with industry leaders to help our state serve as the training ground for the next generation of professionals,” said Duran. “These partnerships create a highly-competent workforce that increases Colorado’s vitality.”

Because he embodies the same spirit of ambition, perseverance and vision found in MSU Denver students, Jordan’s legacy of transformation will undoubtedly extend far beyond his time here. That’s probably why members in both chambers came up to shake hands, share a hug and take selfies with the Roadrunner in chief.

“When he first became president, I remember sitting with him in an Aurora sandwich shop and listening to him lay out his vision for preeminence,” Todd said. “It’s been amazing to watch how nothing has stopped him; he’s really put MSU Denver on the map.”

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