Honoring Dr. Sally Ride, 1951-2012

Close-up of Sally Ride's mission photo from the group photo presented to Jean MayerSally Ride died a week ago, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was amazing not only for being the first American woman in space, but for her career after her retirement from NASA. She (among many other achievements) founded Sally Ride Science, an organization dedicated to motivating both girls and boys to pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Since Apollo 10, NASA has used music to awaken astronauts on space missions. On her fifth morning in space, Dr. Ride -- a Stanford alumna -- was awoken by the "Stanford Hymn" (among other songs). But on her second morning in space Dr. Ride and the rest of the crew were awoken by an a cappella rendering of "Tuftonia's Day" by our own Beelzebubs. Why? Because on Dr. Ride's first flight, shuttle mission STS-7 from June 18-24, 1983, she was joined by pilot Rick Hauck, A62.

Dr. Hauck, an NROTC student, more recently served on the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 2002, and received an honorary Doctorate of Public Service. In 1985, Tufts awarded the Presidential Medal to Dr. Hauck, who presented then-president Dr. Jean Mayer with a patch and flag which had traversed the world in the space shuttle Challenger. That patch and flag -- along with a photograph of the entire crew, including Dr. Ride -- are pictured here.

Patch, Flag, and mission photograph presented to Jean Mayer

We mourn Dr. Ride and honor her life and achievements.

While we honor Sally Ride, we also remember the talented, qualified women who were kept from participating in the space program for its first two decades.