Centennial Alumni

Wilma Jordan

Business Leader

UT Knoxville, ’70

Wilma Jordan is founder and CEO of the Jordan, Edmiston Group, the second-longest tenured investment bank on Wall Street. She’s helped negotiate more than 600 mergers and acquisitions for global corporations, private companies, investors and entrepreneurs.

She grew up in the Knoxville suburb of Halls and graduated from Halls High School. At UT Knoxville, she was founding president of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a national service sorority, and she earned a bachelor’s degree in business.

“UT opened numerous doors for me,” Jordan says. “I met many wonderful people and made a lot of friends there. It was the catalyst that broadened my horizons.”

Jordan became a founder, initial shareholder and CEO of the 13-30 Corporation while still a UT student. The company grew into one of the 100 largest media companies in the country.

After college, Jordan was a shareholder, chief operating officer and principal negotiator in the revitalization and 1986 sale of the Esquire magazine group.

She serves on the board of Fenimore Asset Management and as a trustee of Central Presbyterian Church in New York City. Jordan also has served on the boards of Lin Broadcasting, Lin TV, Lin Media, Clayton Homes and the nonprofit Guideposts Foundation.

And she remains committed to her hometown. She helped establish the Executive Women of Knoxville and supports the Halls High School Foundation.

She has served on the UT Development Council, the Haslam College of Business’ Dean’s Advisory Council and the UT Foundation Alliance of Women Philanthropists.

She received the Tennessee Volunteer of the Year Award in 1999 and the Haslam College of Business Distinguished Alumna Award in 1993. In 2016, Jordan spoke at the Neel Corporate Governance Center and was given the UT Accomplished Alumni Award.