In memoriam: Daniel Jordan

In memoriam: Daniel Jordan

Miller Center benefactor transformed the presidential landmark, Monticello

Daniel Jordan, whose lifetime of leadership reshaped Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, died at age 85 on March 21, 2024. Jordan served on the Miller Center's Governing Council and Foundation Board from 2011 to 2019.

Jordan had a profound impact on presidential studies at the Miller Center, helping to steward the Center's endowments and lending his perspectives on its scholarship. Director and CEO Bill Antholis remembers Jordan's guidance and generous spirit: "Over 23 years, Dan’s leadership transformed Monticello, including the building of an impressive endowment, the construction of the Jefferson Library, the purchase of the Montalto mountain, and the establishment of the Thomas Jefferson Parkway and walking trails. His visionary accomplishments continue to enable so many people to engage with American presidential history and the national treasure of Monticello. After retiring from his role at Monticello, Dan shared his passion for the American presidency with us at the Miller Center by serving for many years on our Governing Council. He chaired our development committee, and then upon the end of his term, also served on the Miller Center Foundation Board. He was a passionate friend and supporter of the Center, our mission, and our people. I will miss him dearly, as he provided generous support and wise counsel to me over the years."

After Jordan's military service in the Army, he earned a PhD in American history from the University of Virginia in 1970 and taught in the history departments at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1985, he became president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates Monticello. He served in that role for 23 years until 2008, guiding and transforming the institution and its relationship to the larger Charlottesville community. The current president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Jane Kamensky, described Jordan as "the most consequential president on the mountaintop since Jefferson himself."

Jordan is survived by his wife Lou; brother Joseph Lodwick Jordan; children and their spouses Dan (Teri), Grace (Victor), Katherine (Walker); and six grandchildren, Anna Jordan, Olivia Colom, Robert Jordan, Pablo Colom, Laura Teele, and Porter Teele.