NASA Astronaut, Wayne State Alum, To Offer Commencement Address

DETROIT — More than 3,500 students will participate in Wayne State University’s spring commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 7.

The ceremony, which will conclude the university’s 144th academic year, will be the first ever held at Ford Field in downtown Detroit.

Capt. Jerry Linenger, retired United States Navy flight surgeon, NASA astronaut and WSU School of Medicine alumnus (’81) will give the keynote address.   A naval academy graduate, Linenger holds doctorates in both medicine and research methodology, as well as dual master’s degrees in policy and systems management. He has also been awarded three honorary doctorate degrees in science.

He was the first American ever to undock from a space station in a Russian Soyuz capsule and the first American to do a spacewalk in a Russian spacesuit. At mission completion, Linenger held the endurance record for the longest time in space for an American man. In 1998, NASA awarded Linenger the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award conferred by NASA, citing his courage and outstanding service to our country.

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