Stanford graduate student John McMordie dies at 23
John McMordie was a member of the class of 2015 and would have received his coterminal degree in mechanical engineering in 2017. He is being remembered as a natural leader, innovative engineer and inspiring teacher and mentor.
John McMordie, a coterminal student in mechanical engineering from Perkasie, Pennsylvania, died Friday, Aug. 26, in Pennsylvania as a result of injuries suffered in a running accident. He was 23.
McMordie is being remembered as a natural leader, an innovator and an inspiring and enthusiastic teacher and mentor.
A memorial service in his honor will be planned for the fall, according to Ken Hsu, assistant vice provost and director of the Graduate Life Office.
At Stanford, McMordie was a tour guide for three years, a resident assistant in Trancos Hall during the 2014-15 year, an Admit Weekend panel speaker and a teaching assistant in the Product Realization Lab. He was scheduled to depart for China last week with the Summer Engineering & Technology Study Tour. He was a member of the class of 2015 and would have received his coterminal degree in 2017.
“John was a powerful engine of teaching innovation at the Product Realization Laboratory,” said David Beach, professor (teaching) of mechanical engineering. “Last spring he was the enthusiastic and unanimous choice to serve as the classroom CA (course assistant) for Manufacturing and Design, the major introductory course. Motivated by his own ME203 design work, John became interested in engineering adhesives. Together with Forest Nelson, he created a lecture that has been used for every instance of this course since.”
Beach said McMordie also had authored a paper about the future of university education to be presented at MIT during the International Symposium on Academic Maker Spaces in November.
Craig Milroy, senior lecturer in mechanical engineering, said McMordie “could rally others to his cause, and his cause was always wonderful and exciting. He loved teaching and made others want to follow his lead. The community lost a tremendous asset with his passing. He will be sorely missed.”
Those sentiments were echoed by David Davidson, senior research engineer in mechanical engineering and the former resident fellow at Trancos Hall.
“He was easily one of the best resident assistants in my eight years at Trancos,” Davidson said. “He was personable, incredibly responsible and kind and generous. He was just a really good human.”
McMordie also excelled as a student tour guide, according to DJ Dull-MacKenzie, director of visitor relations.
“John is one of the first people I think of when I reflect upon the students and tour guides who have best reflected for me the positive ideals, energy and spirit of Stanford – so warm, intelligent and vivacious,” Dull-MacKenzie said, adding, “He had a joie de vivre.”
McMordie was born in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, the son of Bruce Gordon and Cheryl Lynn Weesner McMordie of Perkasie. He was a 2011 graduate of Pennridge High School, where he excelled in academics and music. He participated in bands and orchestras at the district, regional, state and All Eastern levels. Among many honors, he was an Intelligencer John Fisher Citizen Scholar in 2011.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by two sisters, Heather McMordie of Philadelphia and Emily Rae McMordie of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
A memorial service will be held on Sept. 1 in Perkasie. Interment will be held privately in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery there.
In recognition of his spirit, his family requests that blood donations in his memory be made to the American Red Cross. Stanford’s Product Realization Lab is planning an October blood drive in his honor.
See his obituary.