Julia Munson | Courtesy

Cal Poly community members celebrated the life of Jordan Grant, an 18-year-old computer engineering freshman from Plano, Texas, at a memorial service in the University Union Plaza on Oct. 10.

Grant died in a motor vehicle collision on Highway 101 near Arroyo Grande Sunday, Oct. 7.

Grant was a brother, a son and a friend to many.

“He was my hero, my best friend, my person to look up to and now, my angel,” Jordan’s sister Nicole Grant said in an emotional tribute.

Family, friends and professors shared several memories of Jordan during his time at Cal Poly. Several of Jordan’s childhood friends and family from Texas were also in attendance.

“Jordan was so happy to be here at Cal Poly; he had chosen the right place for him and we were so excited for him,” Nicole said.

“We always thought that Jordan might be a teacher one day. It’s not that he said that. It was more my instinct when watching him. He was so kind and compassionate, the traits of all the best teachers,” Nicole said on behalf of her parents. “He was always patient and steady in his guidance. He taught us every day what it was like to be such a good person, a good friend, a good son, and a great brother. We will miss him every moment of every day for the rest of our lives.” 

The service also included remarks by Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President Jasmin Fashami, Campus Pastor Joel Drenckpohl and University President Jeffrey Armstrong.

Although Jordan’s time at Cal Poly was short, he made a significant impact on numerous students and faculty members.

Jordan’s roommates, history freshman Tommy Smyth and mechanical engineering freshman Kevin Salceda, only had positive things to say about Jordan.

Jordan quickly became a brother to Smyth and Salceda. They described Jordan as “happy, selfless and passionate” and said they miss his infectious smile.

The two said they will remember Jordan as the person who would always go out of his way to do little things for others. Salceda said Jordan would always buy him gummy bears before coming back to their room because he knew they were Salceda’s favorite snack.

Agricultural communications freshman Samantha Ruge said she met Jordan a few weeks ago and spent a great amount of time with him on a trip to Pismo Beach.

“I admired his ability to come here all the way from Texas and put himself out there by joining several clubs. I promise to be more confident and put myself out there from here on out because of Jordan,” Ruge said. “I just want his family and friends to know what a huge impact he had on my life during the short time that we knew each other.”

Architecture freshman Trevor Wardell met Jordan at a Cal Poly meet-up in Dallas shortly before they both moved to San Luis Obispo. Wardell said they quickly bonded over Texan cuisine and similar interests.

“I ended up talking to him for hours that night and immediately became friends and started planning adventures for once we got to Cal Poly,” Wardell said. “Jordan just had this charismatic personality that was inviting and easily brought joy to every room he was in.”

Wardell added that although he only knew Jordan for a short time, his death is still difficult for him to comprehend.

“I just wish I could’ve met him sooner and known him longer,” Wardell said.

Armstrong sent a campus-wide email on Tuesday morning to the student body, faculty and staff addressing the community’s loss and listing resources available to help the community cope with Jordan’s death.

Losing someone is always difficult for our community to bear.  Please know that we care about each of you, and please let us know if there are additional ways in which we can support you during this time of loss,” Armstrong wrote.

Counseling services are available to students through the Cal Poly crisis line at 805-756-2511.

Additional health and counseling services can be found on the Cal Poly Campus Health and Wellbeing webpage. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) also provides confidential counseling services to all Cal Poly employees and their families.

 To speak with a counselor at any time, call the 24-hour support hotline at 800-367-7474. 

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