Science & Tech

Former Astronaut Charlie Duke To Present Scholarships At Texas A&M Oct. 6

Former Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke will visit Texas A&M University to present students scholarships from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
By Tura King, Texas A&M Marketing & Communications September 25, 2015

apollo 16Former Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke will visit Texas A&M University to present students Kirstin Maulding and Will Linz with $10,000 scholarships from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF), during a public lecture and ceremony, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 10:30 a.m. in Rudder Auditorium.

Hosted by Texas A&M L.A.U.N.C.H. and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, the program is open to the public and free of charge, but tickets to the event are required from the Memorial Student Center Box Office.

Duke will share his perspective and experiences with NASA, where, as the lunar module pilot for Apollo 16, he became the tenth and youngest person to walk on the moon.

Apollo 16 was the first scientific expedition to inspect, survey, and sample materials and surface features in the Descartes region of the rugged lunar highlands. Duke and crew member John Young spent a record 71 hours and 14 minutes on the lunar surface during this expedition.

One of the 19 selected for NASA’s fifth group of astronauts in 1966, Duke was a support and backup crew member for several Apollo missions, including backup lunar module pilot for the failed Apollo 13 moon mission. He also served as Capcom for the first moon landing mission, Apollo 11, where his distinctive Southern drawl — as the voice of Mission Control with the Apollo 11 crew — became familiar to audiences around the world. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Duke was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force and spent years as a fighter pilot and test pilot before being encouraged by his commandant Chuck Yeager to become an Apollo astronaut.

Texas A&M’s scholarship recipients this year are both seniors in the College of Science. Maulding, majoring in biology, intends to pursue long-term studies related to the underlying basis of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Linz, a mathematics major, earned Goldwater Scholar Honorable Mention honors this spring. He is known for his extraordinary talent for mathematics and a passion for communicating the elegance of a mathematical proof and implications of new branches of mathematics to non-mathematicians.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) presents the largest monetary award available to United States science, technology, engineering, and math students based solely on merit. ASF has awarded over $4 million in scholarships since its establishment in 1984 by the-then six surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. ASF scholarships to Texas A&M are also supported by The Wreyford Family Foundation.

“These scholarships are a tremendous opportunity to showcase the excellence of our best STEM majors to the world and demonstrate to our students just how outstanding they are,” says Sumana Datta, assistant provost for undergraduate students and executive director of L.A.U.N.C.H.

“Seeing their names alongside those of other ASF Scholars from MIT, Georgia Tech, Michigan, The University of Texas and Washington University — among others — brings home how much our Aggie ASF scholars have accomplished thus far and what incredible potential for the future they represent.”

Media contact: Tura King, Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications.

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