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David Starr Jordan

David Starr Jordan


David Starr Jordan (January 19, 1851 – September 19, 1931) was an American ichthyologisteducatoreugenicist, and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University and the founding president of Stanford University. Jordan was born in Gainesville, New York, and grew up on a farm in upstate New York. His parents made the unorthodox decision to educate him at a local girls' high school. His middle name of Starr does not appear in early census records, and was apparently self-selected; he began using it by the time he was enrolled at Cornell. He said it was in honor of his mother’s devotion to the minister Thomas Starr King. He was inspired by Louis Agassiz to pursue his studies in ichthyology. He was part of the pioneer class of undergraduates at Cornell University, graduating in 1872 with a master's degree in botany. He wrote his autobiography The Days of a Man, "During the three years which followed [my entrance as a "belated" freshman in March 1869], I completed all the requirements for a degree of Bachelor of Science, besides about two year of advanced work in Botany. Taking this last into consideration, the faculty conferred on me at graduation in June 1872, the advanced degree of Master of Science instead of the conventional Bachelor's Degree...it was afterward voted not to grant any second degree within a year after the Bachelor had been received. I was placed, quite innocently, in the position of being the only graduate of Cornell to merge two degrees into one." His master's thesis was on the topic "The Wild Flowers of Wyoming County".