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The president’s room

A special edition of our series. The head Roadrunner has an interesting room, too.

By Cory Phare

May 15, 2017

Stephen Jordan in his office.

From a commitment to equity and inclusion to investing in faculty as the foundation of transformative education, President Stephen Jordan has built a legacy of leadership that will extend far beyond his 12 years at the helm of MSU Denver.

So before he heads out of the Student Success Building for the final time (on his way to qualifying for the Senior PGA tournament), we’re taking you into his office to talk about some of his interesting keepsakes – and the stories behind them.

  1. “This is my golf wall, with pictures of the 18th hole at St. Andrews, the fourth green at North Berwick, Castle Pines Golf Club and a caricature of me working on becoming a scratch golfer, from my 60th birthday. I absolutely love golf – it’s the challenge of it being between just you and the course; every hole is different, and there’s so much strategy behind it. It’s just a great getaway.”

  2. “When I was president of Eastern Washington University, the Seattle Seahawks held their summer camp on our campus. On their last day, [then] head coach Mike Holmgren wrote, ‘Thanks for everything and good luck,’ and signed this helmet I brought with me here.”

  3. “When we were at a fundraising auction in Spokane, there was a ’57 Thunderbird Convertible I really wanted to bid on. Unfortunately, my wife Ruthie was adamant that I didn’t – so in a fit of childish anger, I started bidding on this original Salvador Dali piece, depicting Don Quixote. I have it on my office wall as a symbol of being president – sometimes feeling like you’re tilting at windmills – and because Ruthie hates it and won’t let me hang it at home.”

  4. “I’ve had this ‘Sitting Duck’ poster since my first presidency. There was this realization that just when you think you’ve got everything under control, someone starts taking shots at you; it’s a good reminder to keep on your toes.”

  5. “I played rugby for 20 years. This plaque was from the Colorado Olde Boy Rugby Association’s Boulder Area Rugby Festival (BARF); we received it for partying better than anyone else after the tournament. In one of my first games, I got the ball and ran back into the scrum, breaking my nose in two places – that taught me not to put my nose in where it didn’t belong!”

  6. “This civil rights award from the Anti-Defamation League is really meaningful recognition. I received it in 2014 [after the ASSET bill signing]; it reminds me of what it means to stand up for the individual rights of all people.”

  7. “This was a complete surprise! The NACWAA Claire Van Ummersen Award is for support of women in college athletics. One day, I got a phone call from their offices in Kansas City letting me know I had won, so I traveled to their conference in Florida to accept. It’s definitely a high honor to be recognized.”

PS. Calling all faculty members…
Do you have an interesting office – and would you like to feature it in our series? Just email Dan Vaccaro.

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