Ralph Jordan, Jr.


Ralph Jordan, Jr

2014 COSAM Distinguished Alumnus

Ralph Jordan, Jr. '70, '75


“Auburn laid the foundation for my career. Everything that I accomplished in my career was a by-product of the patience and persistence of the outstanding faculty and administrators at Auburn.”


Ralph Jordan, Jr. received his bachelor’s in biological sciences and his master’s in zoology. As an undergraduate, he assisted Dr. Robert H. Mount with the reptile and amphibian collections, as well as with the collection of live specimens. This experience became a catalyst for a growing passion within Jordan - biodiversity.

Jordan began his career with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a non- game and endangered species biologist and eventually assumed responsibility for natural resources management for all of TVA’s public lands. He was involved in managing recreational use and development of TVA’s reservoir lands and ensured compliance with applicable federal legislation, including the Endangered Species, Clean Water and Environmental Policy Acts. Because of his accumulated knowledge of ecological communities, and the distribution of rare plant and animal species, Jordan’s input was often sought by utilities and developers. Before his retirement after thirty-two years, he was recognized with TVA’s Bronze Honor Award.

A Sustaining Life Member (Circle of Excellence) of the Auburn University Alumni Association, Jordan has served on its board in numerous capacities, including president. He is a charter member and former president of the Smoky Mountain Auburn Club. Jordan was a member of both the steering committee for the “It Begins at Auburn” campaign and the Auburn University Athletics Advisory Committee. Since 1994, Jordan has been a member of the COSAM Leadership Council where he currently serves as chairman. He is the son of “Shug” and Evelyn Jordan, the husband of Eve Schlesinger and the father of Amy and Jim.

Jordan, an avid outdoorsman, is a competitive marksman and winner of numerous state and national awards as presented by National Rifle Association (NRA) and the U.S. Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). He is an NRA-certified instructor in three shooting disciplines, and is classified as a Distinguished Expert Marksman by both NRA and CMP.