Columbia State Professor Killed In Accident During Study Abroad Trip In Brazil Obituary 2024

Columbia State Professor Killed in Study Abroad Accident

Columbia State Professor Killed in Study Abroad Accident

Columbia State Community College is mourning the tragic loss of Associate Professor of Art Clifford Gordon, who was killed in an accident while on a TnCIS study abroad trip in Brazil.

Incident Details

Clifford Gordon was walking with three students along an oceanside road when a wave hit them. The three students were safe and sustained no serious injuries, but Gordon was swept away by the wave. Search and rescue operations were immediately launched by Brazilian authorities, but his body was eventually located and positively identified.

Student Involvement

The three students involved in the accident were from Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville and Walters State Community College in Morristown, TN. They are being provided counseling and early transportation home has been arranged.

Professor Gordon’s Legacy

Clifford Gordon was a talented artist and beloved professor who joined Columbia State in 2008. He was known for producing stunning works of collage and painting that explored various ideas, traditions, and modern discourses. Gordon also had a passion for Brazil, having traveled there frequently and teaching himself Portuguese.

Dr. Janet F. Smith, President of Columbia State Community College, expressed her condolences: “We are heartbroken by this tragic loss. Clifford was a talented artist and a respected member of our faculty. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and students during this difficult time.”

Academic Information

Gordon held an Associate of Science degree in art from Chattanooga State Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in art from Tennessee State University, and a Master of Fine Art degree in studio art from the Memphis College of Art.


For more information, please contact Columbia State Community College: