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4 NASA Alums with Graduate Ties

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July 20, 1969 is a major day in NASA history.

After landing the Apollo Lunar Module on the surface of the moon, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took that first “giant leap for mankind.” Fifty years after the moon landing, we’re hard-pressed to name a more epic space moment.

The universities that anchor our hotels have produced some of NASA’s most notable astronauts. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, here are four trailblazing alums.


John Glenn | Graduate Columbus

Astronaut John Glenn

Claim to fame: First American to orbit Earth
Year: 1962

In addition to his standard-issue gear, Glenn carried a note with him into space that said “I am a stranger. I come in peace. Take me to your leader and there will be a massive reward for you in eternity” in several languages. Fortunately, his mission was a success. No note needed.

Ohio born and raised, Glenn served as Senator of the state from 1974 to 1999. His John Glenn College of Public Affairs is the 15th college at The Ohio State University in Columbus.


Margaret Rhea Seddon | Graduate Berkeley

Astronaut Margaret Rhea Seddon

Claim to fame: One of the first six women accepted into the Astronaut Corps
Year: 1978

One of NASA’s pioneering female astronauts, Margaret Rhea Seddon spent 19 year at the organization and a total of 30 days in space.

“Dream big … and don’t be afraid to go first,” she said.

Prior to NASA, Seddon studied physiology at the University of California, Berkeley, then pursued medical school at the University of Tennessee. After leaving NASA in 1997, Dr. Seddon put that M.D. degree to use at the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville.


Guion Bluford | Graduate State College

Astronaut Guion "Guy" Bluford

Claim to fame: First African American to go to space
Year: 1983

Before breaking barriers on Earth and beyond, Guion “Guy” Bluford was a Nittany Lion, earning his degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State in 1964.

“Penn State was the launch pad for me in a very exciting career,” he said. Post-NASA, Bluford continued as a leader in the aerospace technology industry.


Wendy B. Lawrence | Graduate Annapolis

Astronaut Wendy B. Lawrence

Claim to fame: First female US Naval Academy grad to go to space
Year: 1995

Navy captain, helicopter pilot, engineer, professor, astronaut. Wendy B. Lawrence is a renaissance woman with a huge list of accomplishments.

Scouted by NASA in 1992, Lawrence was a member of four shuttle crews, including missions to Mir and the International Space Station. Today, her travels stay a bit closer to home as she crosses the country advocating for K-12 STEM education programs.


Moon Shoes Land at Graduate Eugene

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, a very rare pair of Nike sneakers touch down at our hotel in Eugene, Oregon.

A pair of Nike Moon Shoes made in 1972.

One of just 12 pairs, these Moon Shoes are celebrated as one of Nike’s first ever custom-made shoes. The coveted kicks join our hotel’s extensive Nike poster and vintage sneaker collection.

Follow us on Instagram as we reveal more about the iconic Moon Shoes.

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