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From the graduation files: Ardor perseveres in 12-year pursuit of engineering degree

Kim Chaudoin  | 

Abstract engineering picture

Jack Ardor knows very well what it is like to keep a proverbial number of plates successfully spinning at one time. 

On Friday, May 7, when Ardor receives his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, he can finally take a deep breath and celebrate the completion of a goal that he has been pursuing for 12 years.

A native of Franklin, North Carolina, Ardor has completed the rigorous requirements for his studies in the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering while also being a husband, a father and working. 

Jack Ardor

“While at Lipscomb, I have worked part-time, and my wife has worked full-time to get us through this. It can be particularly difficult to have a family and work life amidst a school life, but everyone at Lipscomb has been incredibly understanding,” reflects Ardor. “My teachers and my fellow classmates have helped push me through these past couple of years, understanding when I needed extensions on due dates and being there to assist me. If it were not for the atmosphere of teamwork among my classmates, I would not have gotten through this, for sure.”

Ardor, who was homeschooled and graduated when he was 15, began his college journey at Lee University in pursuit of a piano performance degree. Not feeling certain about that path, Ardor left Lee, moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and worked at Chick-fil-A for four years before deciding to return to college. 

“I had no clue what it was that I wanted to pursue,” he says.”It took that real-world exposure for me to realize that I had a passion for solving problems and helping others, and that I had the creativity and ability to pursue it. The biggest step for me was being able to believe in myself enough to start down the path at all. Once I got that first foot on the path, I haven't stopped walking forward since.”

He enrolled in Columbia State Community College where he earned an associate degree in engineering. In 2017, Ardor and his wife, Emma, welcomed their first child, a son, “so a lot of the plans I had, had to be put on hold or changed.”

Ardor continued his engineering studies at Lipscomb and was awarded a Lipscomb S-STEM Scholarship for Tennessee Community College Transfer Students. This grant was awarded to Lipscomb by the National Science Foundation to assist transfer students who have earned their associate degree in engineering from a Tennessee community college.

“I just want to let everyone know that I am grateful to everyone in the engineering college who has helped me along this journey. It has been a long journey to get here as I have been aiming to get a degree since 2009,” says Ardor.”I can say that I feel equipped to take on the work that’s ahead of me due to their efforts. Dr. Gregory, Dr. Gwinn, Dr. Dodson, Dean Elrod, Dr. Nordstrom, Dr. Tipton, Sam Wright, Mark Chandler, Megan Davis…thank you all so much.
A real special thank you to my wife, Emma, for supporting me and believing in me for all these years. She has worked so hard to push me through school, and my graduating is a success only made possible through her actions.” 

Ardor is pursuing a job in mechanical engineering after graduation.  
The Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering offers undergraduate programs in civil, electrical and computing engineering. All three programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The college is housed in the Fields Engineering Center, opened in 2017, which provides collaborative learning spaces, flexible student study space, an innovation laboratory for student exploration and creative problem solving and more. Learn more at