More than 1,100 Tennessee Tech University graduates along with their families and friends will celebrate spring commencement with a speaker who is well versed in his “reach for the stars” address.
NASA astronaut and TTU alumnus Barry Wilmore will provide the featured address at the ceremony that begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, in the Hooper Eblen Center.
Wilmore has logged 259 hours in space and was pilot on the 31st space shuttle STS-129 flight to the International Space Station in November 2009.
Before being selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in 2000, Wilmore attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. He completed 5,900 flight hours and 663 carrier landings in tactical jet aircraft. He also completed 21 missions in Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield, four operational deployments flying the A-7E and FA-18 aircraft and has flown missions over Bosnia.
Wilmore was raised in Mt. Juliet and attended Mt. Juliet High School. His mother and father, Faye and Eugene Wilmore, reside in Mt. Juliet while his brother, Jack, and his family reside in Franklin.
He is a graduate of TTU (electrical engineering 1985, 1994). So is his wife, Deanna. His father is a 1958 graduate in industrial management as is his brother, Jack, a 1984 graduate in industrial technology, and Jack’s wife, Selena, is a 1985 graduate as well. Add to that two Wilmore grandchildren, Jack’s children, who attend TTU – Lucas, a senior, and Elizabeth Ann, sophomore.
Wilmore was inducted into the TTU Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 for football and recently was honored as a 2010 Engineer of Distinction by TTU’s College of Engineering.
Following spring commencement, TTU will have granted more than 67,000 degrees.
Students graduating from TTU this spring hail from 23 states including Tennessee, 77 Tennessee counties and eight foreign countries. They represent 41 undergraduate fields of study and 16 graduate fields.
For more information about commencement, visit http://www.tntech.edu/commencement/.