Even after passing away, Jordan Lindsey's legacy lives on.
Before she died, the LMU communication studies major made it her mission to advocate for the release of an elephant in Thailand from the custody of an abusive owner. According to Mike Lindsey, Jordan’s father, she had written letters to National Geographic and the World Wildlife Fund trying to rally support.
Before she could see that cause through, 21-year-old Jordan died due to injuries sustained in a shark attack while on a family vacation in the Bahamas on June 26, according to the Washington Post.
“She loved underdogs, animals, children. She was always trying to save the planet,” said Mike Lindsey.
He said that after Jordan’s death, her younger sister Madison stepped up to fulfill Jordan's goal by continuing to campaign for the release of the elephant in Thailand. According to Mike Lindsey, the elephant was recently freed.
“She was so passionate about animals and the environment. She wanted to make the world a better place — I believe she accomplished that dream,” said Jordan’s girlfriend, Gianna Gabriele-Kasparek, a junior communication studies major at LMU.
“It seemed like she was going to be successful in whatever she did,” said Mike Lindsey.
Jordan was involved, passionate, nurturing and above all else, kind, according to her family and friends. Gabriele-Kasparek said Jordan dreamed of being a veterinarian and opening a non-profit that rescued animals. She was involved in multiple organizations on campus, including the Entrepreneurship Society and Tau Sigma National Honor Society. She also spent time as a communications assistant for the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering, according to a message sent out by the Office of the President.
Seaver College Communications Manager Tiffany Jonick, who was Jordan’s supervisor, said Jordan had a tremendous work ethic and was a talented student, receiving A's in her first semester at LMU after transferring from Santa Monica College.
“She had a voracious appetite for taking on pretty much every project I threw at her. What I always appreciated is that there was no task too big or small for her to take on,” said Jonick.
During the nine months they spent together, Jonick watched Jordan grow in the workplace, evolving from timid and shy at first to pitching her own ideas and putting in the work to see them to completion. But perhaps most of all, Jonick was touched by Jordan’s kindness. “I always use the word gentle when I describe Jordan … She would always ask how I was doing, what my weekend plans were and how my family was doing,” said Jonick.
Mike Lindsey said he was amazed by the support offered to the family by members of the LMU community.
“I cannot believe the amount of people from LMU that came to the funeral. Some of her teachers stood up and told stories that I had never heard before,” said Mike Lindsey. “I heard stories from all the LMU people and they were heartbreaking. It makes me want to cry just thinking about all the good things she did.”
LMU plans to honor Jordan with a plaque displaying her name added to the student memorial, Ad Astra Per Aspera. Translated, the name of the memorial means “through hardships to the stars.”
The Lindsey family and Gabriele-Kasparek were on vacation in the Bahamas when Jordan was attacked by three sharks, according to the Washington Post. She was snorkeling with her mother on Rose Island, while the rest of the family and went to pet pigs on the other side, said Mike Lindsey.
After Jordan was taken to shore by her mother, the two were taken to the nearest hospital on a boat that arrived without any medical supplies, according to Mike Lindsey.
Going forward, family and friends remember and celebrate Jordan's legacy by trying to be how she always was — kind.
"We are just trying to be nice to people, that’s what Jordan always wanted people to be," said Mike Lindsey.