Howard University names law library after Vernon Jordan

Howard University names law library after Vernon Jordan
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Howard University on Monday announced that it would be naming its law school library in honor of alumnus Vernon Jordan, the civil rights leader and former President Clinton adviser who passed away last week. 

Howard wrote in a press release that the dedication was approved unanimously by the university’s Board of Trustees following a recommendation from President Wayne A. I. Frederick. 

Frederick said in a statement along with the announcement, “Vernon Jordan’s life embodied Howard’s motto of truth and service from his early beginnings as a lawyer to his work in the civil rights movement and later as an advisor to Presidents Reagan, Bush, Carter and most prominently as a friend and advisor to President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFederal judge changes his mind about stepping down, eliminating vacancy for Biden to fill Joe Biden's gamble with history Can America prevent a global warming cold war? MORE.” 


“Mr. Jordan is the kind of person who never met a stranger and who enjoyed mentoring students to help them succeed,” the university president added. 

Jordan, who in addition to Clinton served under numerous other presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWe must eliminate nuclear weapons, but a 'No First Use' Policy is not the answer Building back a better vice presidency Jill Biden unveils traditional White House holiday décor MORE, earned his law degree from the HBCU in Washington, D.C., after receiving his bachelor’s degree from DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. 

Frederick in his statement Monday referenced a story Jordan shared in his 2001 book, “Vernon Can Read! A Memoir,” in which he recalled his summers in college working as a chauffeur for former Atlanta Mayor and retired banker Robert Maddox. 

Frederick explained that Maddox owned a large home library and “Mr. Jordan spent his down time reading the books.”

“When Maddox found out, he was shocked and begrudgingly gave him permission to continue reading,” the university president wrote. “One night at the dinner table, Maddox proclaimed to his family, ‘Vernon can read!’”

“Mr. Jordan never forgot that experience and it became a pivotal moment in his vast narrative of triumph over controversy. Therefore, it is most fitting that we name one of Howard’s libraries in his honor,” Frederick added. 

Jordan’s daughter, Vickee, last week announced that the 85-year-old “passed away peacefully” while “surrounded by loved ones.”

Jordan after receiving his law degree in one of his first major cases sued the University of Georgia over its segregation policies in 1961. 

Jordan also worked for various civil rights organizations throughout his career, and was president of the National Urban League from 1971 to 1981.

Howard in its press release on the library Monday included a link where people can make monetary contributions in honor of Jordan.