Harrison Schmitt, Former Astronaut and US Senator, To Deliver Commencement Keynote

© Western New Mexico University

Silver City, NM – Former US Senator Harrison Schmitt will deliver the keynote commencement address for the spring graduation ceremony on Friday, May 16 at 6:00 p.m. in Old James Stadium.

A Silver City native, Schmitt received his B.S. from Caltech, studied as a Fulbright Scholar at Oslo and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard. Schmitt received Air Force jet pilot wings in 1965 and Navy helicopter wings in 1967.

Selected for the Scientist-Astronaut program in 1965, Schmitt flew in space as Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 17, the last and longest Apollo mission to the moon. On December 11, 1972, Schmitt landed in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow as the only scientist and the last 12 men to set foot on the Moon.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976, Schmitt served a six-year term. In addition to serving on corporate boards, he chaired the NASA Advisory Council from November 2005 to October 2008.

Two students were selected to deliver the student response addresses. Tasha Cooper is earning a Master of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Art and Writing. Cooper was born and raised in the greater Cincinnati area. She was a competitive gymnast for 10 years and coached the sport for five years. She graduated with honors from WNMU in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Katelyn Dean is earning two bachelor degrees in English and Secondary Education. She was born in Gallup, New Mexico and raised in Las Cruces. While at WNMU, Dean was involved in several student organizations including the Native American Club and the Baptist Student Union. She was inducted into the Student Hall of Fame in 2013.

The complete commencement program is available here: http://www.wnmu.edu/events/commencement