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The Jordan legacy: Ruthie’s impact

Committed to community, Ruthie Jordan has been a champion for Roadrunners in her own right.

By Cory Phare

April 19, 2017

Ruthie Jordan
Ruthie Jordan

President Stephen Jordan has built a track record of preeminence from 12 years at the helm of MSU Denver. To honor his legacy, we’re taking a weekly look at some of the key ways he’s transformed the University for the better.

When MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan was contemplating the role of chief Roadrunner, one thing was unequivocally certain: His wife, Ruthie had to be onboard.

“They are a package deal,” said Cathy Lucas, chief of staff and associate to the president for marketing and communications. “When the Board of Trustees announced his hiring, it was essentially getting two great professionals for the price of one.”

That’s because Ruthie Jordan is an accomplished career woman in her own right. A former financial planner for American Express, she realized her partner’s new leadership role warranted a change if they wanted to actually see each other.

Ever since, she’s been a fixture of the MSU Denver community – and committed to improving it. Along with Paul Cesare, assistant director of admissions, Ruthie helped launch the MetroLeads program, providing localized leadership training and organizational growth opportunities. And, by encouraging everyone to “wear your pin,” she’s helped provide a visual reminder of the University’s collective strength.

“She’s a constant presence at events,” said Lucas. “From being at every welcome back, spring update and commencement ceremony to attending countless basketball, soccer and volleyball games, Ruthie is a brand champion for MSU Denver.”

Tapping her business mindset and expertise, Ruthie became a strong school advocate, which also has meant serving as a member of the University’s Communication Advisory Council. Ruthie provided input on the original integrated marketing campaign that told the story of MSU Denver’s path to preeminence, and she has provided key perspective to her husband’s speeches as one of his most-trusted editors.

A true goodwill ambassador, she remembers not just the individuals she meets, but their children, spouses and other members of the community. That’s what makes her a campus leader in her own right, and a key part of the reason that it has been great days to be a Roadrunner.

“Ruthie has never met a stranger; she always has a smile and is supportive,” said Lucas. “She’s truly one of our unsung heroes.”

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