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Vernon Jordan '57 Pays Tribute to Civil Rights Pioneer Dan Collins

October 15, 2007

Vernon Jordan Classroom.jpgOctober 15, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - "A memorial for a civil rights pioneer drew a host of dignitaries to Mill Valley Saturday including civil rights leader Vernon Jordan and former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown," reports California's Marin Independent Journal. "More than 400 people flocked to the Mill Valley Community Center to pay their respects to Dr. Daniel Collins. Both Jordan and Brown spoke about their long friendships with Dr. Collins and the leading role he played in winning equal rights for blacks."

Vernon Jordan, a 1957 graduate of DePauw University, is "former president of the National Urban League, adviser to Bill Clinton and a member of the board of a number of corporations," notes the report. He considers Collins, who was 91, a mentor and a deeply respected friend. "When my first wife Shirley passed, Dan was there for me," Jordan said at the service. "When I was shot in Fort Wayne, Dan was there for me. Dan Collins taught me that friendship is the medicine of life."

The article by Richard Halstead recounts a humorous Jordan story about how Collins, Vernon Jordan ARW 1982.jpgwho was a dentist, fixed Jordan's teeth after he was selected to replace Whitney Young as head of the Urban League. Collins' accomplishments include becoming the first person of color to become a professor at the University of California - San Francisco dental school. He also founded the Bay Area Urban League and the first black-owned savings and loan in San Francisco.

Access the full text at the newspaper's Web site.

At June's Alumni Reunion Weekend celebration, Vernon Jordan told his 50th reunion class, "With all that we have accomplished, with all the experience and wisdom and smarts, we have a duty and a responsibility to contribute more to DePauw, to America, and to the world." Read more about Jordan, adviser to Presidents Clinton and Carter, former president of the National Urban League, and a senior managing director of the Wall Street investment bank Lazard Fréres, and access audio of his entire June 9 speech, in this previous story.

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