Creighton University Honors Columbia Astronaut With Statue Unveiling
Creighton University honored the memory and life of Creighton alumnus and space shuttle Columbia astronaut Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson with the unveiling of a bronze bust of him during a dedication ceremony last month.
The plaza in front of Creighton’s new Hixson-Lied Science Building was named in Anderson’s honor (see Black Issues, July 17, 2003). Anderson earned a master’s degree in physics from Creighton in 1990 and was presented with Creighton’s prestigious Alumni Merit Award in 1998.
Anderson’s wife, Sandra Hawkins Anderson of Houston, her two daughters, Sydney, 12, and Kaycee, 10, his parents, Bobbie and Barbara Anderson of Spokane, Wash., his sister Joann Sykes and her husband Fred of Oklahoma City, and his cousins were among those attending.
Anderson, along with his fellow astronauts, lost his life in the tragic events of the space shuttle Columbia. Creighton President the Rev. John P. Schlegel, described Anderson as not only one of Creighton’s best but “one of our nation’s best.”
The bust was created by Creighton fine and performing arts professor Littleton Alston.
Also in Anderson’s memory, Creighton established the Michael P. Anderson Endowed Scholarship for physics students shortly after the February 2003 shuttle tragedy.
Anderson was the payload commander and a mission specialist responsible for the management of the science portion of Columbia’s 16-day mission. Selected for NASA’s astronaut program in December 1994, Anderson was the first African American to visit the space station when the Space Shuttle Endeavour docked with the Russian Mir in 1998.
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