Name: Jordan, Terry (1938-2003)
Historical Note: Terry Jordan was the Chairman of the Department of Geography at the University of North Texas from 1962 until 1982. Terry was born on August 9, 1938, in Dallas. In 1956, he enrolled in Southern Methodist University and was also a member and secretary of Beta Theta Phi fraternity and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated after three and a half years in January 1960, and received a $7,000 Southern Teaching Career Fellowship from the Council of Southern Universities for three years of graduate study for the Ph.D. Terry began his master's studies at Texas in fall 1960 at the age of 22, and he speedily completed his master's program in August 1961. In August 1962, he married Marlis Anderson. In January 1969, Dean Frank Gifford offered Terry the chairmanship of the Department of Geography at the University of North Texas with full professor status, telling him that they were seeking a vigorous young scholar who would continue to publish and would lead a transition from a teacher's college to a regional state university. Terry accepted this offer and remained at the department as chair until 1982. His appointment was newsworthy: the Dallas Morning News ran a feature article on his hire by Walter Moore, editor of the Texas Almanac. Over time, Terry became more interested in log structures (he never called them cabins) as a cultural indicator. He began maintaining a register of log structures at Denton, and he avidly sought examples throughout Texas and elsewhere, carefully noting building and notching styles. He published a series of articles on Texas log structures and a book, Texas Log Buildings: A Folk Architecture. This book won him the Tullis Prize of the Texas State Historical Association as the best book published on Texas history in 1978. He also won awards from the Texas Heritage Council, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the American Association of State and Local History, and he was named one of sixty Fellows of the Texas State Historical Association in 1980. Terry chaired the geography department at North Texas for thirteen years. In 1982, Terry received the Honors Award of the Association of American Geographers, which was presented April 27, 1982, at the AAG meetings in San Antonio. About this same time, he was recruited by The University of Texas at Austin to fill its Walter Prescott Webb Chair of History and Ideas. The position at Austin came with research funding, and this enabled Terry to more freely pursue international research in such places as China, Tibet, Russia and Siberia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Tahiti, Scandinavia, Spain, and Korea. During the last twenty-one years of his life at Austin, Terry enjoyed his office in Room 306 of the Geography Building. He taught up until the final weeks before his death. He was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and died In October of 2003. Shortly after his diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, the Department of Geography and the Environment at Texas honored him with a special reception, dedicating a newly renovated classroom in his honor.
Records or Manuscript Collections Created by Jordan, Terry