Dr. Henry Bryce Jordan

Pennsylvania State University President, 1942

Henry Bryce Jordan was born in Clovis, New Mexico, on September 22, 1924. His family later moved to Abilene, Texas, where his parents operated a small grocery store. As a young man Bryce painted signs and sacked potatoes. Following graduation from Abilene High School in 1941, he attended Hardin-Simmons University for one year and then answered his country’s call to arms. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946. While a student at HSU Jordan was a member of the World-Famous Cowboy Band and played in the orchestra. In 1948, he married the former Jonelle Thornberry, a 1951 HSU alumna.

Jordan earned his bachelor and master of music degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 1948 and 1949. He returned to Abilene and taught at Hardin-Simmons University for two years, after which he entered the University of North Carolina for doctoral work in historical musicology and comparative literature. He received his Ph.D. in 1956.