Jordan talks about NC State’s critical role in his success

September 19, 2011
By Bill Krueger

book-cover_the-man-from-mt-gileadAfter a lifetime of accomplishments — building a successful lumber business, completing time in the military as a second lieutenant, being      elected lieutenant governor of North Carolina — Robert “Bob” Jordan III ’54 told an NC State audience last week that, “This university has been the core of my success.”

As part of the “Amazing Alumni” series at D.H. Hill Library, Jordan spoke fondly of his time at NC State. Ned Cline, author of a new biography of Jordan, The Man from Mount Gilead, said the most difficult obstacle in writing the book was “getting [Bob] to talk about himself.”

Jordan said his favorite memories of NC State centered around his time with fraternity brothers at Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the leadership positions he held and the organizations he worked with.

Jordan talked about working as a student in D.H. Hill Library and his reaction to attending his first chemistry class, which was about five times the size of his whole high school graduating class in Mount Gilead. Jordan also talked about being in the ROTC — an experience he described as “the greatest thing that ever happened to [him].”

Jordan said he became very ill over Christmas break in his freshman year, which caused him to miss several weeks out of the following quarter (NC State was on a quarter sytem until 1954). He said he “had a time” keeping up with his classwork, but came on top in the end.

Jordan encouraged students to take advantage of professors, get involved and study hard to build the best academic experience. “I’m proud,” he said, “to be an NC State graduate.”

— Jeannene Lang

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