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1st African American female astronaut to speak at Southern University Founders' Day

10 months 1 week 5 days ago March 09, 2016 Mar 9, 2016 Wednesday, March 09 2016 March 09, 2016 11:33 AM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Southern University will host its 136th Founders' Day on Thursday with the Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American female astronaut, as the key note speaker.

Jemison flew into space in 1992 aboard NASA’s Endeavor Space Shuttle. Jemison will speak at the mid-morning Community Prayer Brunch and the Founders’ Day Convocation in the Felton G. Clark Activity Center on Southern’s campus.

The celebration will include a series of activities commemorating the university’s history and honoring former Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) trailblazers.

This year’s theme is “Southern University: Continuing the Journey, Surpassing Boundaries.”

The university will also pay tribute to former engineering student pioneers who were among the first African Americans to be recruited in the early 1960's through NASA.

A NASA Student Exposition will be held after the convocation for local high school and Southern University students to provide access to on-site NASA resource persons, displays, experiments and demonstrations.

“Celebrating Founders' Day is a cherished tradition at Southern University where we pay homage to the people and vision that guide our mission today of providing educational opportunities for students from all walks of life," Ray Belton, Southern University president and chancellor, said.

“It is important to honor our legacy and to bring attention to our former students who so ably made history at NASA during a time when opportunities for African-American were limited," he said.

The Founders' Day will begin with a SU Laboratory School Commemoration at 8 a.m. and will conclude with an employee recognition dinner.

See below for a full list of the events:

Southern University Laboratory School Pilgrimage
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Clark Gravesite, Mississippi Riverfront

Community Prayer Brunch / Founders' Day Convocation
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Dr. Mae Jemison, keynote speaker
F. G. Clark Activity Center

NASA Student Exposition and Book Signing
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Southern University students and East Baton Rouge Parish high school students invited
We Could Not Fail book signing with co-authors: Steven Moss and Richard Paul
F.G. Clark Activity Center

SU 136th Founders' Day Birthday Party
Noon - 1 p.m.
Smith-Brown Memorial Union (Jaguar Square)

Employee Service Awards Recognition Dinner (By Invitation)
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Honoring 20, 30, and 40 plus years
Royal Cotillion Ballroom
Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union

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