North Carolina A&T Honors Dr. Ronald E. McNair

The North Carolina A&T State University community, TRIO program administrators and extended constituents gathered today in the Alumni-Foundation Events Center to commemorate the life and legacy of distinguished alumnus Dr. Ronald E. McNair.

The 30th Annual Memorial Day program will feature a number of community leaders and special invited guests as well as McNair Scholars. Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Edward Fort will deliver the keynote address.


After graduating from N.C. A&T with a degree in physics, McNair continued his educational pursuits and earned a Ph.D in laser physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1978, he was selected as a mission specialist astronaut for the NASA space shuttle program and made history being among the first African American astronauts. McNair’s second mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger proved to be his final mission after the shuttle experienced fatal malfunction upon takeoff.

The tremendous level of academic success that McNair experienced in his lifetime underscores his numerous posthumous acclamations, honors and awards. North Carolina A&T McNair Scholars exhibit the same scholarly standard and pursue lofty educational and professional goals despite their disadvantaged background.

During the celebration, selected McNair Scholars will discuss how the program has enhanced their educational abilities and aspirations. In addition, A&T alumni and friends who knew McNair will share their personal experiences. A memorial wreath will also be placed on campus.

The program ran from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.