The DePauw University Board of Trustees has voted to name the university’s new residence hall after alumnus and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. Additionally, the board has established the Vernon E. Jordan Jr. Scholarship for Public Service and Community Leadership.
The more than $23 million residence hall opened last fall for first-year students on the Greencastle campus. In addition to more than 150 student beds, the four-story, more than 60,000-square-foot building includes community living space such as a lounge and kitchen.
DePauw President Dr. Lori White says both the naming of the residence hall and the creation of the scholarship program are the university’s way of honoring the life of Jordan, who graduated in 1957.
“Vernon Jordan’s remarkable career embodies the best of DePauw and personifies DePauw’s mission to prepare leaders the world needs,” White said in a news release. “Our entire community felt it important to recognize Vernon in significant ways that would ensure his incredible legacy of public service endures at DePauw and is a source of inspiration for generations of DePauw students.”
The New York-based Corning Inc. Foundation has donated $500,000 as seed money for the scholarship. DePauw says recipients will be students who “demonstrate community involvement and leadership potential” and the program is designed to help recipients develop skills and experience to “solve critical challenges on a neighborhood-to-global scale and to embrace and succeed in public service.”
The Vernon E. Jordan Scholars will participate in service-learning, off-campus study, internships, on-campus speakers, and various other programs, according to the university.
After graduating from DePauw, Vernon Jordan earned a law degree from Howard University and throughout his career, served as an attorney, the Georgia field director for the NAACP, director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council, executive director of the United Negro College Fund, and president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League.