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Gordon, Jacob U.



Jacob U. Gordon was born 25 October 1939 in Sapele, Nigeria to Ojegba and Ateriomatse Gordon. After earning a degree at the University of Ethiopia, Dr. Gordon came to the United States, where he graduated from Bethune-Cookman College (1962), Howard University (1964), Michigan State University (1969), and Union Theological Seminary (1971). He also held a post-doctoral fellow position at the University of Southern California in 1978. Dr. Gordon served as Associate Professor and Chairman of the History and Political Science Department at Albany State University (Georgia) from 1967-1970. In 1970, Dr. Gordon started at the University of Kansas, where he founded and chaired the Department of African and African American Studies from 1970 to 1980. In 1980, Dr. Gordon became a research fellow at KUs Institute for Life Span Studies. That same year he also began a twenty-year relationship with the Center for Multicultural Leadership (originally the Center for Black Leadership, Development, and Research); he eventually became CMLs Executive Director. Dr. Gordon retired from the University of Kansas in 2004, at which time he began work as President and CEO of the non-profit American Health Coalition. He also continued to work as a consultant and evaluator on various projects in Kansas, Missouri, and Florida.

Both during and after his time in academia, Dr. Gordon researched and published a wide range of books, articles, et cetera on such topics as the African diaspora, African studies, African/African American leadership, education, substance abuse, and civil rights. While at KU, he also received and managed a large number of grants, including the Kellogg Foundation Grant for the African American Male Leadership Academy. Dr. Gordon served on a variety of committees and councils, including as Chair of the Kansas State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, as Executive Director of the Kansas Multicultural Association on Substance Abuse, as member and President of Sigma Pi Phi (Boul) fraternity, and as co-founder and CEO of the National Council of African-American Men. Dr. Gordon received a number of awards for his service, including the Wally and Marie Steeples Faculty Award for Outstanding Service (KU), the Kansas African American Commission Award for Outstanding Leadership, and the Governor's Award for Outstanding Service in Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment.

Dr. Gordon became a naturalized U.S. citizen 8 April 1969. He and wife Beverly (Anderson) Gordon had four children, Jacob, Jr., Jason, Jevon, and Edythe. After Beverly's death, Dr. Gordon married Thelma Hunter (b. 10 October 1944); after moving to Kansas, Thelma H. Gordon worked in the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, becoming Secretary of the Kansas Department of Aging in 1999. Jacob Gordon married Barbara Elizabeth McDade, a University of Florida geography professor, on 8 March 2008.

Found in 2 Records:

Black Values and Public Policy Project records

Call Number: RH MS 1163

The Black Values and Public Policy Project records are those of a Kansas Committee for the Humanities funded University of Kansas project.

Dates: 1976 - 1977

Jacob Gordon papers

Call Number: RH MS 1241
Overview The Jacob Gordon papers are those of the founding chair of the University of Kansas' African and African American Studies Department. During his time at the University of Kansas, Dr. Gordon was also a research fellow in the Institute of Life Span Studies and the director of the Center for Multicultural Leadership. The collection focuses on Dr. Gordon's time and work at KU, but includes some materials related to his time prior to arriving in Kansas and materials related to many of his...
Dates: 1949 - 2022

Additional filters:

African Americans -- Education (Higher) 1
African Americans -- Education -- Kansas 1
African Americans -- Employment -- Kansas 1
African Americans -- Housing -- Kansas 1