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Jordan legacy: the Meryl Streep of university presidents

By Dan Vaccaro

June 7, 2017

MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan receiving the NEWSED Civil Rights Award in 2012.
MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan receiving the NEWSED Civil Rights Award in 2012.

When President Jordan packs up his desk this June 30, his last day on the job before retirement, he may need a little help lifting his box of trophies.

During his 12 years as president, Jordan has been honored with countless awards and recognitions, putting MSU Denver in the limelight in Colorado and across the nation.

In the last few months alone, Jordan took home the Futuro Brillante award from the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition and was recognized by Mile High Early Learning for his commitment to creating opportunities for Denver students.

In February, Jordan was inducted into the MSU Denver Roadrunners Hall of Fame for his support of the University’s Athletics programs.

“Our programs would not have ascended to national prominence if it were not for his passion and commitment to enhancing the academic and athletic experience for student-athletes here on this campus, as well as throughout the NCAA,” said Director of Athletics Anthony Grant, Ph.D.

Jordan also was instrumental in the construction of the Regency Athletic Complex and in bringing the 2016 NCAA Division II Championships Festival to MSU Denver. In March, the festival was awarded a Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame 2016 Tourism Star from the Visit Denver Foundation.

And these are just a few recent examples.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (right) presents MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan with the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Nonprofit Impact Award on March 7, 2014.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (right) presents MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan with the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Nonprofit Impact Award on March 7, 2014.

Among his many achievements as president, Jordan may be remembered most for his leadership in establishing a nonresident tuition rate for undocumented students. That courageous decision, which put MSU Denver in the crosshairs of a national debate, earned the president many accolades, including:

  • Civil Rights Award, NEWSED Community Development Corporation, 2012
  • Nonprofit Impact Award, 2014 Colorado Nonprofit Week Award Luncheon
  • 2014 Civil Rights Award, Anti-Defamation League
  • 2014 Sol Trujillo National Lifetime Leadership Award, Latin American Educational Foundation
  • Outstanding Support of Hispanic Issues in Higher Education Award, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, 2014

Jordan has also been recognized by the Denver business community with a Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Award for his commitment to the values espoused by King.

“Any award or recognition I have received is a direct reflection of the hard work happening every day at MSU Denver,” said Jordan. “Our dedicated faculty, staff and trustees are the real winners.”

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