Vernon Jordan '57 to Receive MCCA's Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award

Vernon Jordan '57 to Receive MCCA's Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award

August 26, 2011

63880August 26, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — Vernon E. Jordan Jr. -- attorney, civil rights legend, presidential adviser and 1957 graduate of DePauw University -- will be the recipient of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's (MCCA) first Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor will be bestowed upon Jordan on Tuesday, September 27, at the MCCA Diversity Honors Gala, a sold-out event in New York City's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Jordan will be recognized "for making important and lasting contributions to advancing a society that fully appreciates, celebrates and recognizes the value of diversity," according to the ACC Docket.

The publication notes, "Jordan has been a long-time, leading figure in the civil rights movement." His early law career saw Jordan taking on civil rights law cases, serving as a Georgia field director for the NAACP, and leading the Voter Education Project.

"Jordan developed a reputation among the civil rights leadership as a levelheaded mediator who was able to arbitrate solutions in the face of conflicts. In addition, 81956Jordan served as the head of the United Negro College Fund and later as the president of the National Urban League from 1971 to 1981. At the National Urban League, he was instrumental in integrating American businesses and providing economic and social support to the expanding black middle class."

A "pillar of America's legal, corporate and political arenas," Jordan served as an adviser to President Bill Clinton and as a trustee of both DePauw and Howard universities. He is a senior managing director at Lazard and senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

"Vernon Jordan is a hero to me and countless others who are the fortunate beneficiaries of his lifetime legacy of advocating for civil rights and opening doors of opportunity in all sectors of our society," says Veta T. Richardson, former executive director of the MCCA and current president of the Association of Corporate Counsel . "Mr. Jordan's achievements in law and business helped to usher in a new generation of post-Civil Rights Era leaders of color who now serve at the highest levels in corporate executive suites, Wall Street, governors' mansions, the nation's capital and the White House."93529 (at left: Vernon Jordan with classmates from the 1957 Mirage yearbook)

"Mr. Jordan's record of achievement in so many different arenas can be matched by few others," declares Don Liu, past chairman of the MCCA board of directors and general counsel for Xerox Corporation. "His business acumen is highly regarded; for he brings his insights to the corporate board rooms where he serves as a director, including at Xerox, where he was a board member for many years. He has worked tirelessly in business, law, politics and education to create opportunities and improve the lives of countless Americans. His impact on society has been profound, and MCCA is honored to present him with our first Lifetime Achievement Award." 

Read more in the September issue of ACC Docket, the journal of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

In December 2009, Jordan was one of eight individuals presented with the Du Bois Medal, the highest honor awarded by the 68356Harvard University Institute of Politics' W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. He's also received the Spingarn Medal, the NAACP's highest honor for achievement, the Trumpet Award, and his alma mater's Old Gold Goblet and McNaughton Medal for Public Service. Jordan is the author of Vernon Can Read! A Memoir  and Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out.

In his 1993 commencement address at DePauw, Jordan declared, "DePauw expanded my mind, broadened my horizons, lifted my sights, prepared me to serve and to lead and nurtured my growth and maturity. I made lasting friendships here. If I had my life to live over again, I would return to this place."