Former astronaut Dr. Mae C. Jemison, who was the first African-American woman in space, will deliver the commencement address at the UA’s graduation ceremony.
Commencement is at 7:30 p.m. May 10 at Arizona Stadium.
Jemison is a medical doctor, engineer and entrepreneur. She served six years as a NASA astronaut and went into space on Sept. 12, 1992, aboard the shuttle Endeavour. She logged more than 190 hours in space.
She is currently the leader of 100 Year Starship, a nonprofit initiative started by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to assure capabilities exist for human travel beyond our solar system within the next 100 years.
“She is a true inspiration; her career, entrepreneurship and innovative spirit makes her an amazing person to help celebrate our Class of 2019,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins. “I am honored that she is joining us for such an important evening in our students’ lives.”
Jemison enrolled at Stanford University at age 16 and earned a bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering and a bachelor’s of arts in African and Afro-American Studies. She earned her medical degree from Cornell University in 1981.
Jemison taught for a time at Dartmouth College. She also served in the Peace Corps as a medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
She founded two companies, including The Jemison Group Inc., a technology consulting firm.
She started the nonprofit Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which designs STEM education experiences . One program is the international science camp The Earth We Share, which builds science literacy while tasking students around with solving global problems. The program trained hundreds of middle school teachers and thousands of middle school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District in science education.
Jemison is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame.
She is one of the hosts for the National Geographic’s TV series “One Strange Rock,” and was one of the first astronauts to appear on the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” TV series. She also is a figurine in the LEGO Women of NASA toy kit.