Coterminal student dies in running accident

Sept. 27, 2016, 1:00 a.m.

John McMordie, a coterminal master’s student in mechanical engineering, died Aug. 26 in Pennsylvania as result of heatstroke during a half marathon.

McMordie is remembered as a leader, teacher and innovator. In November, he presented and authored a paper on the future of university education at MIT during the International Symposium on Academic Maker Spaces. At Stanford he taught at the Product Realization Laboratory and was the course assistant to mechanical engineering professor David Beach.

“John was a powerful engine of teaching innovation at the Product Realization Laboratory,” Beach said. “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.”

Outside the lab and the classroom, McMordie could be found enthusiastically leading tour groups across the Stanford campus. According to DJ Dull-MacKenzie, director of visitor relations, McMordie excelled at connecting with his tour groups and truly representing the welcoming spirit of the University.

“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,” said Dull-MacKenzie. “He had a joie de vivre.”

McMordie was a member of the class of 2015 and would have received his coterminal degree in 2017. He was born in Sellersville, Pennsylvania and is survived by his parents, Bruce Gordon and Cheryl Lynn Weesner McMordie of Perkasie, and his two sisters, Heather McMordie of Philadelphia and Emily Rae McMordie of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. In his honor, Stanford’s Product Realization Lab will be hosting a blood drive in October.


Contact Andrea Villa at acvilla ‘at’

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