Auburn alumnus, NASA executive speaking at Auburn's summer graduation

Published: August 01, 2016
Updated: August 03, 2016
Font Size

Article body

Auburn alumnus and director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Todd May will be the guest speaker at Auburn University's summer graduation ceremonies Saturday, Aug. 6, in Auburn Arena. Approximately 1,221 new graduates will receive degrees.

May will speak at a 10 a.m. ceremony for the College of Architecture, Design and Construction; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering; School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; College of Sciences and Mathematics; and University College. He will speak again at a 2 p.m. ceremony for the College of Agriculture; Raymond J. Harbert College of Business; College of Education; College of Human Sciences; and School of Nursing.

The ceremonies will be streamed online at

May, a 1990 alumnus in materials engineering, joined NASA in 1991 and was appointed to his current position with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in February. He was named the Distinguished Auburn Engineer by his alma mater in 2012.

He heads the Marshall Center – one of NASA's largest field installations – with nearly 6,000 civil service and contractor employees – including those at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, which is managed by the Marshall Center. With an annual budget of approximately $2.5 billion, he manages a broad spectrum of human spaceflight, science and technology development missions contributing to the nation's space program.

A native of Fairhope, Alabama, May's many awards include NASA's Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal and the John W. Hager Award for professionalism in materials engineering. In 2014, he received Aviation Week's Program Excellence Award, as well as the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation's Stellar Award in recognition of the Space Launch System team's many accomplishments.

Auburn will award 112 doctoral degrees, 334 master's degrees, 14 educational specialist degrees and 760 bachelor's degrees. The bachelor's degrees by college and school are: College of Liberal Arts, 155; Harbert College of Business, 151; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, 93; College of Human Sciences, 93; School of Nursing, 67; College of Education, 66; College of Architecture, Design and Construction, 46; College of Sciences and Mathematics, 40; College of Agriculture, 23; School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 10; University College, 16; and Harrison School of Pharmacy, one.