'Hidden Figures' Physicist Katherine Johnson Will Deliver Hampton University Commencement Address
The living legend will speak to graduates at the historically Black college.
Hampton University is welcoming a living legend for their 147th Commencement this May.
The historically Black university announced that Katherine G. Johnson, the physicist and mathematician who worked for NASA and was an inspiration behind Hidden Figures, would join them as their commencement speaker this year.
“As an African-American woman, job options were limited —but she was eventually hired as one of several female mathematicians for the agency that would become NASA,” President Barack Obama said during her Presidential Medal of Freedom honor.
“Katherine calculated the flight path for America’s first mission in space, and the path that put Neil Armstrong on the moon. She was even asked to double-check the computer’s math on John Glenn’s orbit around the Earth… In her 33 years at NASA, Katherine was a pioneer who broke the barriers of race and gender, showing generations of young people that everyone can excel in math and science, and reach for the stars.”
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Johnson has honorary doctorates from Old Dominion University, Capitol College and SUNY Farmingdale —and was named “Outstanding Alumnus of the Year” by West Virginia State College.
Hampton University’s 147th Commencement ceremony will be held on May 14, 2017 at 10 a.m ET.