Manchester paved the way for career that Lett loves


Jordan Lett ’16 doesn’t waste time.

As a full-time budget analyst for the State of Indiana and a graduate student working on his second master’s degree, he rarely has a minute to spare.

And that’s the way he likes it. “It’s tough,” he says. “It’s a lot of time. But I just enjoy learning.”

Lett’s embrace of life and learning drove him to set a similar pace as a Manchester student. He majored in political science and economics, with a minor in environmental studies. He also took travel courses to Alaska, the Bahamas and the Iowa caucuses. He was active in a wide range of student organizations, including student government, Manchester Republicans, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Manchester Catholics, Men’s Bible Study, Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT), and Ballroom and Latin Dancing Club, among others.

“I had a great experience,” Lett says of his college days. “I got heavily involved right away.”

For three years, Lett served as a resident assistant, a job he “loved” because it was about building relationships among the people on his floor. In particular, he enjoyed mentoring younger students. “I was lucky enough to know what I wanted to do early on, so I really enjoyed helping other people find their interests.”

What Lett wanted to do was work in government and politics.

He moved up in the ranks of Manchester Republicans and applied to it one of the University’s most cherished principles: respectful dialogue. “People can agree to disagree,” says Lett.  And “I tried to bring a non-partisan, no-bias approach” to the conversations.

Also during college, he cut his teeth on real-life politics by volunteering for campaigns and interning for a Washington, D.C., lobbyist.

After Manchester, Lett earned his master’s degree in public affairs at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, also working as a legislative intern for the Indiana House Republican Caucus and through a fellowship with the Indiana Senate Republican Caucus.

All of which paved the way for his current role in the health and human services division of the state budget office. Lett enjoys working with agencies to help them develop their budgets, approving hires and contracts, and conducting fiscal impact analyses on bills introduced in the Legislature.

“You learn about all sorts of policy areas and you work with your agencies to identify what kind of costs or savings or revenue it will bring to the state,” he says.

To strengthen his financial skills, Lett is now working on a graduate degree in finance at Butler University.

Despite his hectic schedule, Lett isn’t all about work.

He married his wife, Taylor, in 2019 and they had their first child in April 2020. They named her Lorelei because it started with an “L” and for their shared love of the TV show, “Gilmore Girls.”

At the Letts’ wedding, Jordan’s core group of friends from Manchester comprised much of the wedding party, including best man Peter Shepherd ’18. Before the pandemic, the group got together regularly for golf and catching up on weekends. “Manchester gave me great friends,” says Lett.

He also makes time to serve on MU’s Alumni Board, a value seared into his consciousness when he served on STAT.  “I recognized how important it is to stay involved with campus and contribute to it,” explains Lett. “It’s a great way to give back and I feel like I’m still part of the school.”

By Melinda Lantz ’81