Terry Hart will deliver the 2021 commencement address virtually on Friday, May 21. Hart was the designated commencement speaker for the class of 2020 before the ceremony was cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Lehigh University)

NASA astronaut Terry Hart announced as class of 2020’s Commencement Speaker


Terry Hart, ’68, ’88H, was announced as the 152nd commencement speaker, according to a University Communications announcement on Feb. 26.

Hart is known for his career at NASA and joined in 1978 as part of “Group 8.” He was part of NASA’s 11th space shuttle mission on the STS-41-C Challenger, launching from Kennedy Space Center on April 6, 1984.

He is a mechanical engineering and mechanics professor of practice in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. Since becoming faculty in 2006, he has advised students and has developed new courses in the mechanical engineering department in order to expand the aerospace engineering minor.

Hart earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Lehigh in 1968, and in 1988, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering.

After graduating from Lehigh, Hart worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories as technical staff, and he also became a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, logging approximately 3,200 hours of flying time. Hart returned to Bell Labs after his time at NASA and also worked for AT&T’s satellite network as a director of engineering and operations before coming to teach at Lehigh.

President John Simon said in the University Communications announcement that Lehigh graduates will benefit from hearing Hart’s experiences in his interesting career path.

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