Purdue Astronaut to Speak to Graduates From Space

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Purdue University’s spring commencement ceremony will have a unique guest. NASA astronaut and Purdue alumnus Drew Feustel, who is currently stationed on the International Space Station, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree and will speak to graduates through a live link during the ceremony May 11.

Due to his location, Feustel will have the ceremonial hood placed on him by fellow Purdue grad and astronaut Scott Tingle, who is also aboard the ISS. Traditionally, a Purdue dean places the hood on honorary degree recipients.

"Purdue’s tradition has always required that honorary degree recipients be present at commencement but, given the mission Drew has undertaken on behalf of science and his fellow citizens, our Trustees felt an exception in this case is more than warranted," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. "Plus, it will give our graduates an exceptionally fun and unique way to remember their special day."

Feustel earned a bachelor's degree in solid earth sciences from the Purdue College of Science in 1989 and a master's degree in geophysics from Purdue in 1991. He is a veteran of three NASA spaceflights and Purdue says by the time the commencement ceremony occurs, he will have spent a total of 80 days in space and conducted seven spacewalks. He is scheduled to return to Earth in October.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7:20 p.m. on May 11 and Feustel will give his remarks at 7:56 p.m. NASA will air a portion of the commencement ceremony on NASA TV beginning around 7:35 p.m., which you can view by clicking here.

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