Former NASA astronaut to speak at Sweet Briar College graduation

The crew of STS-33 Discovery space mission pose for an official NASA portrait at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Monday, Nov. 20, 1989. The crew from left, seated, are, Kathryn D. Thornton, mission specialist 3; Frederick D. Gregory, commander; and F. Story Musgrave, mission specialist 1. Standing from left are, Manley L. Carter Jr., mission specialist 2; and John E. Blaha, pilot. Their mission is to deploy a classified military satellite. The launch date is Nov. 22. (AP Photo/NASA)

SWEET BRIAR, Va. (WRIC) — Sweet Briar College says former NASA astronaut Kathryn Thornton will deliver the keynote address at the college’s graduation in May.

The all-female liberal arts college will hold its 108th commencement on May 13, 2017.

Thornton made four space flights between 1989 and 1995. A physicist, she holds a master’s and doctorate degree from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University.

She is now director of the aerospace engineering program and a professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at the University of Virginia.

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