A Fountain of Love
January 19, 2017
The fountain under the gazebo on Southeastern’s campus was dedicated in memory of Dana Alexandra Jordan who died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 14.
The memorial for Dana was donated by her grandparents, George and Joan Braswell. George Braswell taught missions and world religions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) for 32 years.
“I wanted to do something in memory of her,” Braswell said. “She always came to Wake Forest to ride bicycles and play hide and seek among the trees at Southeastern. Now seminary families and children throw pennies into the fountain and students enjoy sitting by it on the quad to study for exams.”
The fountain has a French motif because Dana lived in Paris for part of her childhood and spoke fluent French.
“This memorial is very sentimental to my wife and me. We remember Dana so often,” Braswell said. “The fountain is a great tribute to her love of the town of Wake Forest and the Southeastern Seminary campus.”
The location of the fountain is a part of the history of Wake Forest. In 1911, a 101-foot well was dug in front Wait Hall, now Stealey Hall, to provide water for a marble fountain that was a gift from that year’s graduating class of Wake Forest College. Southeastern donated the first fountain to the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society in 2001, and it stands today at the historical museum down the street from the seminary.
Dana’s parents William and Margaret Anne were United States Diplomats stationed across the world. Margaret Anne flew from Damascus, Syria to Raleigh, NC in 1992 to deliver Dana at Rex Hospital. Dana’s family wheeled her around the SEBTS campus in her carriage and met former Southeastern President Paige Patterson during his first academic semester at Southeastern.
When Dana was six, she flew by herself to Washington Dulles Airport where her grandparents met her and brought her to Wake Forest to spend the summer. In the following years, Dana continued to visit Wake Forest each summer with her family.
A plaque marking the fountain in memory of Dana reads: “This fountain stands in Memory of Dana Alexandra Jordan (1992-2007), granddaughter of Dr. George Braswell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Missions and World Religions, and his wife, Joan Braswell. Dana frequented this spot during her many visits to campus as she spent time with her grandparents in Wake Forest, NC.”
It also includes Revelation 7:17, “For The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Braswell is currently the senior professor of world religions and the director of the World Religions and Global Cultures Center at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, NC.
Braswell received his bachelor of arts at Wake Forest University when the school was located in Wake Forest, NC and a doctor of ministry at SEBTS. He also earned a bachelor of divinity from Yale University Divinity School and a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Campbell University awarded Braswell with an honorary D.D. as well.
The Braswells moved back to Wake Forest in 1974 after serving as the first Southern Baptist Missionaries to Iran and lived on North Main Street for 28 years. They are members of Wake Forest Baptist Church.Braswell met his wife in 1955 while they were students at Wake Forest College. They have four children, Margaret Anne, Robbie, Brien and Becky and three living grandchildren in Indiana.