Retired NASA astronauts and University of Kansas alumni Joe Engle and Steven Hawley will be grand marshals of the KU Homecoming Parade at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. A meet and greet with Kansas Athletics will precede the parade from 4 to 5 p.m. at South Park. The theme for KU’s 105th Homecoming is “Jayhawks of the Galaxy.”
Engle, a Chapman native and 1955 School of Engineering graduate, was a member of the NASA Class of 1966. He trained for the Apollo 14 and Apollo 17 moon missions before commanding Space Shuttle Columbia, the second shuttle mission, on Nov. 12, 1981. Four years later, he commanded Space Shuttle Discovery. He has been inducted in the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame, the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Hall of Fame. In 1982, he received the University’s Distinguished Service Citation and was recognized as a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus.
Hawley, a Salina native who graduated in 1973 with a degree in astronomy, is a member of the NASA Class of 1978. He served as mission specialist on five space shuttle flights from 1984 to 1999 and logged more than 770 hours in space. He has received several awards from NASA and has been inducted in the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. In 1998, he received the University’s Distinguished Service Citation, and he received the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. He is a professor in the department of physics and astronomy at KU.
KU alumnus and former astronaut Ron Evans, who joined Engle in NASA’s Class of 1966 and served as command module pilot on Apollo 17, died in 1990. The University’s newest astronaut candidate, Loral O’Hara, graduated from the School of Engineering in 2006. She is currently in NASA’s two-year training program.
The parade is part of a weeklong celebration that begins Sunday, Oct. 1, and includes several student and alumni activities, including competitions, community service opportunities and reunions, all of which lead up to the KU-Texas Tech football game Saturday, Oct. 7, in Memorial Stadium. A complete schedule of Homecoming week activities can be found at on the Homecoming website.
The student-led Homecoming Steering Committee is directed by Nellie Kassebaum, a Burdick junior in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She works with Alumni Association adviser Jacey Krehbiel, assistant director of membership and business development.
In NASA’s fun Facebook video introduction of its 2017 astronaut class—which also offers us earthbound-types a nifty idea for getting to know new acquaintances—Astronaut Candidate Loral O’Hara, e’06, joined her fellow future space fliers for a game of “2 Truths and a Lie.”
O’Hara reveals that she really likes tacos, was often chided for being unruly in her middle-school classes, and has a proven ability to endure life without showers.
So which one is a lie? Find out at 2:16. (Hint: This stellar Jayhawk is a really good student.)
“Garfield: The Musical With Cattitude” opened Friday night and, even at the matinee show the following day, the actors, including alumna Brianna Woods, gave energized performances that would make you think it was opening night all over again. Read full article.
As one of the first American designers to challenge the boundary between utility and fine art, Wendell Castle creates an enticing breed of objects marked by superior craftsmanship and ingenuity in form, style, and technique. Castle, f’58, g’66, received an honorary degree from KU in 2013. Read full article.
Circuit Judge John Christian Yoder, whose work in law and politics spanned more than 40 years, including two terms in the West Virginia Senate, died Friday as a result of complications from heart surgery. He began a career in government service in his native state of Kansas and graduated from KU School of Law in 1975. Read full article.
NASA was slammed with a record number of astronaut applicants this year and out of more than 183,000 people, only 12 were given that proverbial golden ticket. The deserving dozen includes a Texan and University of Kansas graduate named Loral O’Hara. Read full article.
Peter Mallouk, c’93, b’93, l’97, g’97, an estate planning attorney, started his business with an eye toward servicing medical professionals in suburban Kansas City. Today the company, Creative Planning, is at the vanguard of a profound shift in finance. Read full article.
David Seely, l’82, was elected the new president of the Wichita Bar Association. He joined Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch in 1984 and focuses on civil litigation, especially cases involving oil and gas. Read full article.
Philosophy majors spend their college years pondering deep questions, such as: What is the meaning of life? Do we have free will? And what job am I going to get with this degree after graduation? As chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Sheila Bair, c’75, l’78, leaned on her philosophy degree from the University of Kansas to make crucial decisions during the financial crisis. Read full article.
Nikki Glaser’s come a long way from her days as a reluctant college student at the University of Kansas. Eleven years after graduating with an English degree, Glaser’s back in Lawrence, this time as a headliner at the Free State Festival. Read full article.
The first couple to ever say “I do” in the new, upscale Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas, in a ceremony on Sunday, happened to be Olathe native Dan Ryckert and his beloved Bianca. Dan is a 2007 graduate of the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation recognized the third class of Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows, which includes KU graduate Justin Fairchild, g’13. Read full article.
Jayhawk Loral O’Hara, a 2006 graduate of the KU School of Engineering’s aerospace engineering program, on Wednesday was introduced as one of 12 members of NASA’s 2017 astronaut candidate class. After her KU graduation, O’Hara earned a master’s degree at Purdue University. Until joining NASA for the arduous astronaut selection process, O’Hara most recently worked as a research engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
O’Hara, e’06, was born in Houston and reared in nearby Sugar Land, Texas. When her NASA class was introduced during a ceremony at Johnson Space Center, O’Hara was quick to note her joy in reaching a lifelong dream in her hometown.
“Growing up in Houston, I had Johnson Space Center right down the road and I was able to visit often,” O’Hara said. “My second-grade class even got to grow tomato plants that flew on the space shuttle, a program that I actually recently just found out is going on today with students flying seeds on the International Space Station. Those early experiences really hooked me and are a big part of what ignited the dream to be an astronaut.”
Among her diverse interests, O’Hara is a private pilot, scuba diver, surfer, sailor, spelunker, painter, certified EMT and wilderness first responder, and she noted that her unusual hobbies helped her join NASA’s latest astronaut candidate class.
“I’ve always been really curious and loved trying new things, learning new skills,” O’Hara said. “I’ve just been fortunate that the experiences that I have always gravitated toward are also those that helped me get up here today, things like fixing engines and flying and diving.”
She reports for duty in August to begin two years of astronaut training, after which she will be assigned technical duties in NASA’s astronaut office while awaiting her first flight assignment.