Luncheon Will Commemorate 15th Anniversary of Columbia Explosion

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

Steven W. Lindsey

Steven W. Lindsey

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 by Thursday (Jan. 25).

For more information, email 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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Department of History

Department of History

The Department of History is a vibrant community of scholars who seek to understand the past and teach courses that introduce students to the processes of historical thinking and analysis critical for the development of an informed citizenry.

The department offers strong undergraduate and graduate programs taught by a diverse faculty who are well-respected in their individual fields and in the historical community in general. Learn more about the faculty, students, courses, and what makes the history department exemplary.


Institute for Peace and Conflict


The mission of the Institute for Peace and Conflict at Texas Tech University is to enhance and expand critical research, creative scholarship, and classroom teaching in the fields of war and society, global peacemaking, conflict resolution, and society’s response to such efforts. IPAC will host conferences and events, support graduate student research, and promote international cooperation and collaboration with students, faculty, and other organizations who share our vision and mission to better understand these important events and issues. Please be sure to check our events page for information about upcoming conferences and other activities.