Fresno State philanthropist remembered

Dee Jordan, who along with her husband and brother-in-law have left a lasting footprint on Fresno State, passed away Nov. 17 in San Francisco at age 87.

“The impact of the Jordan family gift was transformational for Fresno State and continues to help us make our agricultural programs among the best in the nation,” said Fresno State President Joseph Castro. “Mrs. Jordan and her beautiful family are among the greatest benefactors this university has ever known and our students, faculty and staff will be forever touched by her generosity.”

Jordan’s connection to the university began 30 years ago at a rally where a retired professor gave a talk about Fresno State’s agricultural program and the Ag One Foundation, which supports students and programs in the college.

Since then, she and her family began supporting Fresno State by donating scholarship funds for students through the Ag One Foundation.

Since 1995, the Jordan’s funded the Ag One Lowell A. Jordan and Jordan Family Endowment, ultimately contributing $130,000 to the fund, which supports six to seven students each year with scholarships of up to $1,000.

In 2009, the California State University Board of Trustees voted to name Fresno State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in honor of the family.

The family’s $29.5 million donated to Fresno State’s Ag One Foundation in 2009, which remains the largest single cash gift ever received by the California State University system, resulted in the Jordan family’s vision for the college being realized. The Jordan Agricultural Research Center, a building under construction on the southeast corner of Barstow and Woodrow avenues, is a 30,000 square-foot research facility.

The building, which is scheduled to open in spring 2016, is the first of its kind in the CSU system and is designed for interdisciplinary agricultural research among students, faculty and industry professionals.