Excitement bubbling on the North Greenville College campus for several weeks reached a crescendo during the first full week of October.
The highlight of the three-day-long celebration marking the 90th anniversary of the college came on Friday morning with the inauguration of the school’s fifth president, Dr. James D. Jordan, Jr.
Distinguished guests representing educational institutions of the southeast, state, and local officials, denominational representatives and others were among friends who shared in the hour long program.
The concert choir presented “The True Light,” by Robert Powell of Greenville, A specially commissioned anthem for the inauguration. South Carolina Governor Richard Riley brought greetings from the state and Dr. Pope A. Duncan, President of Stetson University, Deland, Florida, delivered the address.
Duncan, one of the new president’s former teachers, told Dr. Jordan to seek for the fine line between a college atmosphere and is too free and one that is too strict, between the sacred and the secular, and between the experimental and the static.
“A college must think its mission through and it must state it clearly and pursue it diligently,” Duncan said. Rev. Horace Sims, President of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, joined with Dr. Boyce Tollison, chairman of the Board of Trustees, in the official installation of Dr. Jordan as the fifth president of the college.
In his response (which is included elsewhere in this issue) Dr. Jordan pledged “quality education in a caring environment.”
Dr. Jordan who succeeds former President George Silver, is a native of Charleston. He is a graduate of Furman University and Southeastern Baptist Seminary and received the Ph.D. degree from Duke University. A Fulbright scholar, he has attended the University of Strasbourg in France. He came to the presidency of North Greenville from Georgia Southern College where he was head of the history department. A former pastor, he earlier taught at Mars Hill College.
Mrs. Jordan, the former Barbara Jean Watts of Lugoff, graduated from Meredith College. She has taught elementary school and has owned and operated a bookstore as well as fulfilling her responsibilities as a wife and mother. A charming and delightful person, she fills the role of a president’s wife with grace and elegance.
The Jordans have two children: Jean, a graduate of Stetson University, and Jay, a forestry student at Clemson University.
Published in the December 1982 North Greenville College Alumni Newsletter.