Former astronaut, Auburn alumna first speaker for New Horizons Lecture Series March 30

AUBURN – Former astronaut and Auburn alumna Kathryn Thornton will be the first speaker for the Auburn University Graduate School’s newly established New Horizons Lecture Series.

Thornton’s lecture, “Space Flight: A Human Perspective,” will be at 4 p.m. March 30 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center and is open to the public. Later that evening she will receive the Alumna Award from the Auburn University Women’s Resource Center during its Women’s Leadership Conference.

A Montgomery native, Thornton graduated from Auburn in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in physics. She earned master’s and doctorate degrees in physics from the University of Virginia, where she is now associate dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Thornton served 12 years as a NASA astronaut, flying on four space missions, including the first Hubble Space Telescope Service Mission. She has logged more than 975 hours in space and more than 21 hours of space walking. Thornton also headed the NASA Johnson Space Center Education working group, which coordinated the educational outreach activities of astronauts and professional educators working under the “Teaching from Space” contract with Oklahoma State University.

Auburn’s New Horizons Lecture Series will promote the interchange of ideas and the benefits of graduate education to the people of Alabama. For more information, contact George Crandell, associate dean of the Graduate School, at (334) 844-2125 or

Contact: George Crandell, (334) 844-2125,; or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999,