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April 2, 2008 - Anderson to be inducted into Hastings College Pro Rege Society
NASA Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson, League City, Texas, will be inducted into the Hastings College Pro Rege Society at the 12th annual dinner and induction ceremony at Lochland Country Club, Thursday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m.
Membership in the Pro Rege Society is the highest non-academic recognition that the college bestows. Criteria for selection may include, but is not limited to, extraordinary service to Hastings College, significant philanthropic contributions, and/or unusual commitment to the college over an extended period of time.
The evening includes a dinner, a tribute to Anderson by the Hastings College Music Department, and the induction ceremony. Call (402) 461-7363 by Wednesday, April 16, to make reservations.
Anderson earned his bachelor of arts degree cum laude at Hastings College in 1981, graduating with a major in physics. He also was selected for the Bronco Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating senior. A native of Ashland, Neb., Anderson continued his education at Iowa State University completing a master of science degree in aerospace engineering.
Anderson joined NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 1983. He served in various capacities before receiving a space flight assignment last summer. Anderson embarked on a five-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station, June 8, 2007. During his 152-day mission, he performed three space walks, disposed of two pieces of space hardware, and conducted scientific experiments. Anderson returned home aboard Shuttle Discovery, landing at Kennedy Space Center, Nov. 7, 2007.
Anderson credits two of his former Hastings College professors with helping him achieve his career goal: Dr. Clyde Sachtleben, professor emeriti of physics; and Dr. CarlThrockmorton, professor emeriti of physics and mathematics. Both men were at Kennedy Space Center to witness the Atlantis launch. They, and President Phil Dudley, received calls from Anderson while he was in space.
Anderson remains loyal to Hastings College. In 2004, he returned to his alma mater to speak at Commencement exercises and to receive an honorary doctor of science degree. In September 2007, he created a special 125th anniversary message for Hastings College that could be viewed on the school’s website. The next month, in a joint effort with NASA and the college’s communication department, Anderson spoke with faculty, staff and students in the Gray Center via a live videoconference from the ISS. During the one-hour link, students asked questions about Anderson’s life in space and were able to view the inside of the space station.
In March, Anderson was welcomed back to campus and shared his NASA experiences with more than 500 people in French Memorial Chapel. He also was presented the Hastings College Outstanding Alumni Award. The following day, Anderson spoke in four Hastings College classes.
Anderson and his wife, Susan, are the parents of two children: a son, Clayton “Cole,” and a daughter, Sutton. His sister, Lorie Hartzell, Juniata, Neb.; and brother, Kirby Anderson, Omaha, Neb.; both graduated from Hastings College.