Statue of Barbara Jordan to Grace the Campus of the University of Texas

The University of Texas has commissioned a statue of Barbara Jordan which will be placed near the main building on the Austin campus. The statue will be the first of a woman on the campus, but it will not be the first statue of an African American. A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled on campus in 1999. On several occasions it has been defaced with racial graffiti.

As a young woman Jordan wanted to enroll at the University of Texas but the institution was still closed to blacks. Instead she graduated magna cum laude from historically black Texas Southern University and went on to the Boston University School of Law.

Jordan was the first black woman elected to the Texas state Senate and later served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. A fiery and eloquent orator, twice she was chosen to give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.

After retiring from Congress in 1979 due to health reasons, Jordan taught at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Jordan died in 1996.

The Jordan statue, which will be created by artist Bruce Wolfe of Piedmont, California, is expected to be unveiled in the spring of 2009.