Law Professorship Honors Legacy of Lieutenant Governor, War Hero Nathan Gordon
Posted on February 23, 2011
In 1995, Nathan Gordon, one of the University of Arkansas School of Law’s most illustrious graduates, established a $250,000 gift through his estate plans to endow the Nathan G. Gordon Professorship. The Gordon Professorship will be awarded to a law professor who demonstrates a commitment to law, excellence and public service, traits that the scholarship’s namesake exemplified.
Gordon, a 1939 graduate of the School of Law who passed away in 2008, was one of the United States’ most decorated military heroes. On Feb. 15, 1944, he faced heavy enemy gunfire over the Bismarck Sea while he piloted a seaplane and rescued 15 downed Army Air Forces soldiers. For his actions that day, he was awarded the nation’s highest military honor for bravery, the Medal of Honor. Over the course of his two years of military service, he also was honored with the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal with four clusters.
When he returned to his native Morrilton, Gordon resumed his successful career as a lawyer and was appointed to the Workmen’s Compensation Commission. In 1946, he ran for Arkansas lieutenant governor and was elected to his first of a remarkable 10 consecutive terms. Gordon was Arkansas lieutenant governor for a record 20 years, serving under four different governors.
“We are honored that the School of Law will be able to celebrate the extraordinary legacy of Nathan Gordon through this endowed professorship,” said Cynthia Nance, dean of the School of Law. “The Gordon Professorship will allow us to recognize and retain an outstanding law teacher and scholar and to pay our respects to one of the most distinguished graduates of our law school.”
“Nathan loved the law, the state of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas and the Razorbacks,” said law partner and nephew Allen Gordon. “His companion gifts to the School of Law in Fayetteville and the Razorback Foundation are especially fitting.”