Isaac M. Jordan

"energetic & faithful to every task"

Isaac Jordan may have been born a Pennsylvania farm boy, but his ambitions were far grander than tending animals and harvesting crops. An important part of his life’s journey was set early on when he moved to Ohio with his family and met Ben Runkle, who later described Jordan as a “playmate of my boyhood, [a] schoolmate, [and a] friend for [the] long and strenuous years of manhood ... [with] boundless energy, lofty ambitions, gifted with untiring perseverance and [the] ability that made success a certainty.”

Jordan and Runkle, who was two years Jordan’s junior, landed at Miami of Ohio together for college, and fittingly became fraternity brothers, first as Dekes, then as founders of the new fraternity, Sigma Phi, which later became known as Sigma Chi.

Jordan displayed his goal-oriented nature throughout his collegiate career, and it was no surprise that he went straight to law school and practiced as an attorney until he was elected in 1882 to the U.S. Congress.

In 1884, Brother Jordan gave a talk in which he outlined his view of the criteria by which a student should be considered for membership in Sigma Chi. That brief statement, which stresses the qualities of good character, became known as “The Jordan Standard.”

Who knows how far Jordan’s ambitious purposes may have taken him had he not died unexpectedly in 1890. What is known is that this selfmade man was admired deeply for his relentless energy, broad talents and unwavering dedication to all that he pursued.