Civil War Era Studies
History is Brian Jordan’s past, present, and future.
“I was four years old when my grandmother tried to teach me gin rummy,” said the Gettysburg College senior. “She had a deck of cards with oil portraits of each United States president, at that time up to George H.W. Bush. These portraits captured me and I wanted to learn more about them.”
Jordan began reading everything about presidential history that he could get his hands on. On summer vacations, he convinced his family to swap Disney World for the birthplace or home of U.S. presidents and Civil War battlefields.
Unsurprisingly, Jordan knew early on that Gettysburg College would be the place for him.
“I was watching C-SPAN's Booknotes and a Civil War scholar from Gettysburg College was interviewed. It was Prof. Allen Guelzo and I was struck by his scholarship and knowledge. I knew then that I wanted to pursue Civil War studies,” Brian said. “After spending a week on campus attending the Civil War Institute during my junior year of high school, Gettysburg was solidified as my only choice.”
Brian has made the most of his four years. He studied history and Civil War Era Studies and contributed entries to several scholarly encyclopedias. He has delivered dozens of lectures in six states and received the college’s Charles Glatfelter Phi Beta Kappa Leadership Prize and Edwin T. Greninger Prize and Anthony diPalma Award, both in history. He has also served as vice-president and president of the college’s Civil War Club, editor of the college’s Historical Journal and a volunteer battlefield tour guide. He also wrote and published his own book, Unholy Sabbath: The Battle of South Mountain in History and Memory.
Now, Brian is focused on the future. He will attend Yale University on a full scholarship this fall, enrolling in a five-year Ph.D. program in history. And he hopes that one day he will return to Gettysburg College – as a professor in Weidensall Hall.