Texas Tech University

Luncheon Will Commemorate 15th Anniversary of Columbia Explosion

Glenys Young

January 23, 2018


Retired NASA astronaut Col. Steven W. Lindsey will be the guest speaker at the event, which raises funds for three Texas Tech graduate fellowships.

The Texas Aviation Heritage Foundation Inc. (TAHFI) will host its annual scholarship luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 1) at the MCM Eleganté Hotel and Suites, 801 Ave. Q. The luncheon's theme is “Remembering the Columbia Shuttle Disaster,” and former NASA Astronaut Col. Steven W. Lindsey will serve as the guest speaker.

Lindsey is a veteran of five space flights, in which he logged more than 1,500 hours. Before retiring from NASA in 2011, he served as chief of the astronaut corps. He is now the senior director and co-program manager of Space Exploration Systems for the Sierra Nevada Corporation.

Funds raised through the luncheon support three graduate fellowships at Texas Tech University, one in the Department of History and two through the Institute for Peace and Conflict, which are open to any graduate student studying aviation or peace and conflict throughout the world.

Single seats for the luncheon are $50, and a table for eight people is $350. Students with a valid student ID may register for $20. Payment can be made through cash, check, PayPal and all credit cards except American Express. Reservations can be submitted by email to info@TAHFI.org by Thursday (Jan. 25).

For more information, email info@TAHFI.org or call (806) 698-6956.

Texas Tech's connections to the Columbia Space Shuttle explosion of Feb. 1, 2003, are numerous. The shuttle's commander, Rick Husband, was an alumnus, and his widow, a Texas Tech alumna, has since donated most of his NASA artifacts to the university's Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. Columbia's pilot, Willie McCool, was the son of two Texas Tech faculty members: Audrey McCool, the interim chairwoman of the Department of Hospitality & Retail Management, and Barent McCool, an associate professor in the department. Another alumnus was involved in the recovery efforts after the disaster.

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