NASA's First Native American Astronaut to Speak at Baylor Nov. 3

Oct. 29, 1999

by Lori Scott Fogleman

NASA'S first Native American astronaut, Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Herrington, will be the keynote speaker during "Space and More 1999," a celebration of Native American Heritage Month at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, in Kayser Auditorium in the Hankamer School of Business on the Baylor campus.

Herrington's visit is sponsored by Baylor's Native American Student Association. His speech--"Maybe So and Maybe Not!"--is free and open to the public.

"We are honored to have John Herrington as our speaker for Native American Heritage Month. Being an astronaut, he breaks stereotypes others hold regarding Indians, and that's so important in our commemorating this month," said Kimberly Roppolo, a Baylor graduate student and member of the Native American Student Association's council. "Native Americans are Americans, are people and not characters out of movies or history books."

A member of the Chickasaw Tribe, Herrington was born in Wetumka, Okla., and graduated from Plano Senior High School in 1976. He earned a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics in 1983 from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1995.

An accomplished naval aviator who has logged over 2,300 flight hours in more than 30 different types of aircraft, Herrington was assigned as a special projects officer to the Bureau of Naval Personnel Sea Duty Component when he was selected for the astronaut program.

For more information on Herrington's visit to Baylor, call the student activities office at (254) 710-2371 or Roppolo at (254) 710-6896.

NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS: Lt. Cmdr. Herrington's appearance is open to the media. He also will be available to meet with reporters immediately following his speech at 9 p.m.

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