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160th Commencement address given by aerospace pioneer Dr. Mae Jemison

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  
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For immediate release – 4/16/14
Rockford College Communications Office: 815-226-3374

Rockford, Ill. – Rockford University’s 160th Commencement Ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 18, at 2:00 p.m., at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in downtown Rockford. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Management Studies, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Business Administration degrees will be awarded to approximately 350 students.

Dr. Mae JemisonDelivering this year’s keynote address will be Dr. Mae Jemison. Dr. Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. She flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission in September 1992 and was NASA’s first Science Mission Specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness. A general practice doctor in Los Angeles, Jemison earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and the requirements for an A.B. degree in African and Afro-American Studies at Stanford University and her M.D. from Cornell University.

In her autobiography, Dr. Jemison shares the story of her growing up on the south side of Chicago, cultivating her aspiration to be a scientist, her experiences as a medical student in Africa and her journey into space. Currently, Dr. Jemison leads the 100 Year Starship initiative, funded by the Department of Defense, to assure the capability for human interstellar space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years. She also serves as chief executive of The Jemison Group that integrates social-cultural issues on the design and implementation of technologies.

Tickets are required for attendance. Due to space constraints, tickets are limited to degree candidates and their guests. Tickets will not be available at the door of the Coronado Theatre.

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