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Former Dean of Students Michael Gordon dies at 82 years old



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Former Dean of Students Michael Gordon died Jan. 7. He was 82 years old. He was dean of students from 1981 to 1991, when he stepped down, and was a professor until 2001.  Arbutus File Photo Buy Photos

Former Dean of Students Michael Gordon died Jan. 7, his daughter announced on Facebook Tuesday. He was 82 years old. 

Gordon served as a professor of music in the Jacobs School of Music from 1975 to 1981, when he became dean of students. He was dean of students from 1981 to 1991, when he stepped down and was a professor until 2001. 

Before coming to Bloomington in 1975, Gordon worked as an administrator and music educator in New York City public schools and performed regularly with chamber music groups in the city. 

Gordon received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia State University and his Ph.D. in music and music education from Columbia University.

Charlie Nelms, a longtime IU administrator, tweeted about Gordon’s death Wednesday. 



Passionate and principled, Gordon was committed to student welfare to the point that his ideas could be unrealistic about what was actually possible, said Steve Sanders, an associate professor in the Maurer School of Law. Gordon became famous at IU for cracking down on student drinking, Sanders said. He said Gordon was ahead of his time for seeing the negative effects drinking was having on students and IU’s reputation. 

Gordon also served as an executive director of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which is made up of historically black fraternities and sororities. 

After his retirement, Sanders said Gordon studied to become a minister. Gordon also traveled back and forth between the United States and Ghana, where he started a guest house to make it easier for students and faculty to travel to Ghana. 

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