Maynard F. Jordan
Professor Emeritus of Astronomy
1892 – 1986
Maynard F. Jordan was born on December 17th, 1892 at Little Cranberry Island. He was raised and educated in Maine, and received both his degrees from the University of Maine. His legacy continues in the form of the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium, of which he was the first director, and the Maynard F. Jordan Observatory, where he was almost as much a fixture as the telescope itself. He taught astronomy at the University of Maine for 35 years, and is still remembered as one of the most popular and well-liked professors ever to be employed by the university.
Jordan was a highly intelligent, well-educated man. He studied at Harvard University, the Perkins Observatory in Ohio, Wesleyan University and the University of Chicago, in addition to receiving his two degrees from the University of Maine. He began his teaching career as principal of Warren high school. He became an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Maine in 1919, but left when he was called to the service in the first world war.
After the war, he went on to become an Austin Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, where he met and studied under astronomer Harlow Shapley. After this meeting Jordan shifted his considerable intellect to the study of astronomy. In 1925, however, he returned to his alma mater, this time as a professor of astronomy, and remained there until his retirement in 1960.