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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Astronaut to address Aggies at ceremony

Former astronaut and retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden Jr. will be the speaker at the spring commencement convocation.
Bolden will be introduced by Aggie astronaut Mike Fossum, Class of 1980, and will speak at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Reed Arena.
While Bolden was a pilot astronaut, he worked with Fossum, who was an engineer at the Johnson Space Center.
Bolden was born in Columbia, S.C., but relocated to Texas for his career.
His ties to Texas began when he spent approximately six months as an advanced flight student at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville. Bolden received his wings as a Naval Aviator in May 1970.
When Bolden was selected to be a NASA astronaut he moved with his family to Houston for an assignment at the Johnson Space Center. Bolden and family lived in the Clear Lake area from 1980 to 1994. Their children graduated from Clear Lake High School.
Bolden’s speech will kick off the three-day graduation celebration for 5,900 students.
“My remarks will be generally motivational in nature with a slight hint at spirituality in one’s life in the establishment of a moral compass by which to be guided,” he said.
Bolden received a bachelor of science degree in electrical science from the United States Naval Academy in 1968, and a master of science in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977.
“I do not remember my commencement speaker, although I do remember the speaker for my son’s graduation from the Naval Academy in 1993, 25 years after my own graduation,” he said. “His speaker was the Honorable Honorable Sen. John McCain and he talked about his journey from the happy-go-lucky, unfocused Midshipman to the experiences as a Vietnam POW and on to the Senate of the U.S.”
In addition to his career accomplishments, Bolden’s name has been mentioned as a potential for the chief position within NASA as the administrator for President Barack Obama.
“While I am not campaigning to move to Washington, D.C., it is an honor to have my name mentioned as one potentially being considered by the president to become the NASA administrator. I have no word as to the status of the president’s deliberations on this position,” he said.
The convocation is open to all spring degree candidates and their family and friends and will be followed at 6:30 p.m. by The Next Tradition graduation party, which is hosted by the Association of Former Students.
Meet Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden Jr.
Bolden became an astronaut in 1981 and his space flight experiences include four missions aboard the Columbia, Discovery and Atlantis space shuttles. He logged more than 6,000 hours of flying time. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Defense Superior Service Medal, among other honors.

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