David Starr Jordan
|David Starr Jordan|
|President Indiana University|
|Term||1884 – 1891|
|Predecessor||John Merle Coulter|
|First President Stanford University|
|Term||1891 – 1913|
|Successor||John C. Branner|
January 19, 1851|
Wyoming County, New York
|Died||September 19, 1931
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
|Profession||Ichthyologist, University President|
David Starr Jordan (January 19, 1851 – September 19, 1931) was a leading ichthyologist, educator, eugenicist, and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University and was the founding president of Stanford University.
Early life and education
Jordan was born in Gainesville, New York, and grew up on a farm in upstate New York. His parents made the unorthodox decision to educate him at a local girls' high school. He was part of the pioneer class of undergraduates at Cornell University, graduating with a degree in botany. He obtained graduate education from Butler University and the Indiana University School of Medicine. While at Cornell, Jordan joined the Delta Upsilon fraternity.
He was inspired by Louis Agassiz to pursue his studies in ichthyology. He taught natural history courses at several small midwestern colleges before joining the natural history faculty of Indiana University Bloomington in 1879. In 1885, he was named President of Indiana University, becoming the nation's youngest university president at age 34 and the first Indiana University president that was not an ordained minister. He improved the university's finances and public image, doubled its enrollment, and instituted an elective system which, like Cornell's, was an early application of the modern liberal arts curriculum.
In March 1891, he was approached by Leland and Jane Stanford, who offered him the presidency of their about-to-open California university, Leland Stanford Junior University. He had been recommended to the Stanfords by the president of Cornell, Andrew White. His educational philosophy was a good fit with the Stanfords' vision of a non-sectarian, co-educational school with a liberal arts curriculum, and after consulting his wife he accepted the offer on the spot. Jordan arrived at Stanford in June 1891 and immediately set about recruiting faculty for the university's planned September opening. With such a short time frame he drew heavily on his own acquaintance in academia; of the fifteen founding professors, most came either from Indiana University or his alma mater Cornell. During his first year at Stanford he was instrumental in establishing the university's Hopkins Marine Station. He served Stanford as president until 1913 and then chancellor until his retirement in 1916. While chancellor, he was also elected president of the National Education Association.
In addition to his work as Stanford president, Jordan was known for being a peace activist. He argued that war was detrimental to the human species because it removed the strongest organisms from the gene pool. Jordan was president of the World Peace Foundation from 1910 to 1914 and president of the World Peace Conference in 1915, and opposed U.S. involvement in World War I.
In 1925 Jordan was an expert witness for the defense in the Scopes Trial. That same year, he was a listed member in the Bohemian Club and the University Club in San Francisco. Jordan served as a Director of the Sierra Club from 1892 to 1903. He served as a member of the initial board of trustees of the Human Betterment Foundation, a eugenics organization established in Pasadena, California, in 1928 in order to compile and distribute information about compulsory sterilization legislation in the United States, for the purposes of eugenics.
Role in coverup of the murder of Jane Stanford
In 1905, Jordan launched an apparent coverup of the murder by poisoning of Jane Stanford, who had suddenly died while vacationing in Oahu of strychnine poisoning, according to the local coroner’s jury. Jordan then sailed to Hawaii, hired a physician to investigate the case, and declared she had in fact died of heart failure, a condition whose symptoms bear no relationship to those actually observed. His motive for doing this has been a subject of speculation. One possibility is that he was simply acting to protect the reputation of the university; its finances were precarious and a scandal might have damaged fundraising. However, given that Mrs. Stanford had had a difficult relationship with him, and at the time of her death was reportedly planning to remove him from his position at the university, a more personal motive has been suspected. Jordan's version of Mrs. Stanford's demise was largely accepted until the appearance of several publications in 2003 emphasizing the evidence for an unsolved crime.
His son, Eric Knight Jordan (1903–1926) followed his father's footsteps into the sciences. He had taken part in a successful paleontological expedition to the Revillagigedo Islands and was considered a rising star in the world of paleontology when he was involved in a traffic accident near Gilroy, California, suffering fatal injuries and dying at the age of 22. His death was a severe blow to his father.
The David Starr Jordan Prize was established in 1986 as a joint endowment by Cornell, Indiana University, and Stanford. It is awarded to a "young scientist (40 years of age or less) who is making novel innovative contributions in one or more areas of Jordan’s interest: evolution, ecology, population and organismal biology".
Monuments and memorials
- NOAA research vessel David Starr Jordan
- David Starr Jordan High School in Los Angeles, California
- David Starr Jordan High School in Long Beach, California
- David Starr Jordan Middle School in Burbank, California
- Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto, California
- "Jordan River", a section of Clear Creek, flowing through the Indiana University campus
- Legionella jordanis, a bacterium isolated from the water of "Jordan River"
- Jordan Avenue in Bloomington
- Jordan Hall, home of the Indiana University Department of Biology, on Indiana University Bloomington campus.
- Jordan Hall, home of the Psychology Department at Stanford University
- Starr Jordan Lake, Emigrant Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
- Manual of the Vertebrates of the Northern United States (1876)
- Science sketches (1887)
- Fishes of North and Middle America (four volumes, 1896–1900)
- Animal Life: A First Book of Zoölogy (1900), with Vernon L. Kellog
- The Philosophy of Despair (1901)
- Food and Game Fishes of North America (1902), with B. W. Evermann
- Guide to the Study of Fishes (1905)
- Life's Enthusiasms (1906)
- The Blood of the Nation (1901 & 1910, expanded)
- California and the Californians (1911)
- War and Waste (1913)
- War's Aftermath (1914), with H. E. Jordan
- Days of a Man (1922) - autobiography
- Ways of Lasting Peace
- Democracy and World Relations
- Imperial Democracy
- A Higher Foolishness (1927)
- Shore Fishes of Hawaii
- The Fish Fauna of the Tortugas Archipelago (with Dr. Joseph Cheesman Thompson) published for the US Bureau of Fisheries
- "The Present Status of Darwinism," The Dial, Vol XLIII, July/December, 1907.
Species named after him include:
- Agonomalus jordani Jordan & Starks, 1904.
- Agonomalus jordani Schmidt, 1904.
- Allocareproctus jordani (Burke, 1930).
- Astyanax jordani (Hubbs & Innes, 1936).
- Caelorinchus jordani Smith & Pope, 1906.
- Caulophryne jordani Goode & Bean, 1896.
- Chimaera jordani Tanaka, 1905.
- Charal, Chirostoma jordani Woolman, 1894.
- Jordan's tuskfish, Choerodon jordani (Snyder, 1908).
- Flame wrasse, Cirrhilabrus jordani Snyder, 1904.
- Smooth lumpfish, Cyclopteropsis jordani Soldatov, 1929.
- Diplacanthopoma jordani Garman, 1899.
- Mimic triplefin, Enneanectes jordani (Evermann & Marsh, 1899).
- Petrale sole, Eopsetta jordani (Lockington, 1879).
- Greenbreast darter, Etheostoma jordani Gilbert, 1891.
- Gadella jordani (Böhlke & Mead, 1951).
- Yellow Irish lord, Hemilepidotus jordani Bean, 1881.
- Brokenline lanternfish, Lampanyctus jordani Gilbert, 1913.
- Jordan's snapper, Lutjanus jordani (Gilbert, 1898).
- Shortjaw eelpout, Lycenchelys jordani (Evermann & Goldsborough, 1907).
- Malthopsis jordani Gilbert, 1905.
- Gulf grouper, Mycteroperca jordani (Jenkins & Evermann, 1889).
- Neosalanx jordani Wakiya & Takahashi, 1937.
- Patagonotothen jordani (Thompson, 1916).
- Ptychidio jordani Myers, 1930.
- Northern ronquil, Ronquilus jordani (Gilbert, 1889).
- Shortbelly rockfish, Sebastes jordani (Gilbert, 1896).
- Jordan's damsel, Teixeirichthys jordani (Rutter, 1897).
- Jordan's sculpin, Triglops jordani (Schmidt, 1903).
- "David Starr Jordan '72". Cornell Alumni News I (6): 39, 43. May 10, 1899.
- Johnston, Theresa (January-February 2010). "Meet President Jordan". Stanford Magazine.
- Papers of David Starr Jordan, CDG-A, Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- "David Starr Jordan". Geni.com. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "David Starr Jordan". The Independent. Jul 13, 1914. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- Dulfer & Hoag. Our Society Blue Book, pp. 177–178. San Francisco, Dulfer & Hoag, 1925.
- "Roster of Sierra Club Directors". Sierra Club. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
- Romney, Lee (2003-10-10). "The Alma Mater Mystery". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- Morris, A. D. (2004). "Review of The Mysterious Death of Jane Stanford". Hawaiian Journal of History (Hawaiian Historical Society) 38: 195–197. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- Cutler, Robert W. P. (1 August 2003). The Mysterious Death of Jane Stanford. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4793-6. OCLC 52159960. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- Carnochan, W. B. (Summer 2003). "The Case of Julius Goebel: Stanford, 1905". American Scholar (Phi Beta Kappa) 72 (3). Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- Wolfe, Susan (Sept.-Oct. 2003). "Who Killed Jane Stanford?". Stanford Magazine. Stanford University. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- G. Dallas Hanna, Expedition to the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico, in 1925 - General Report; Proceedings of the California Academy Of Sciences, Vol. XV, No. 1, March 1926
- "Guide to the David Starr Jordan Papers". Stanford University archives. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "The David Starr Jordan Prize". Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- NOAA Ship DAVID STARR JORDAN at www.moc.noaa.gov
- Clark Kimberling, David Starr Jordan Landmarks on the campus of Indiana University, Bloomington. His source on "Jordan River" is Indiana Alumni Magazine [vol. 18 (June 1956) page 7].
- Cherry, W B; Gorman, G W; Orrison, L H; Moss, C W; Steigerwalt, A G; Wilkinson, H W; Johnson, S E; McKinney, R M et al. (February 1982). "Legionella jordanis: a new species of Legionella isolated from water and sewage". J Clin Microbiol 15 (2): 290–297. PMC 272079. PMID PMC272079.
- Edward McNall Burns, David Starr Jordan: Prophet of Freedom. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1953.
- David H. Dickason, "A Note on Jack London and David Starr Jordan," Indiana Magazine of History, vol. 38, no. 4 (Dec. 1942), pp. 407-410. In JSTOR.
- Alice N. Hays, David Starr Jordan: A Bibliography of His Writings 1871-1931. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1953.
- Paul J. Ramsey, "Building A 'Real' University in the Woodlands of Indiana: The Jordan Administration, 1885-1891," American Educational History Journal (2004) 31#1 pp 20-28
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David Starr Jordan.|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- History of Stanford motto, with Jordan bio info
- Works by David Starr Jordan at Project Gutenberg
- Biography, Smithsonian website
|President of Indiana University
John Merle Coulter
|President of Stanford University
John C. Branner